Tag Archives: Kill the Quarterback

girl reading

New theories on why we can’t – or don’t – read

The man who can read books and does not is no better off than the man who cannot read.

Author unknown

For many of us, the pleasure of reading cannot be matched by any other human activity.

Reading transports us to a different place. It fires our imagination. It satisfies our interests and curiosities.

But with so many good things coming out of reading, the question becomes, “Why don’t more people read?”

girl readingScientists and scholars are taking a closer look at that question these days and are coming up with some interesting, and occasionally surprising, answers.

According to a recent article in the New York Times (How to Get Your Mind to Read – The New York Times) by Daniel Willingham, our reading problems stem not from an inability to see words and translate them or from the ubiquitous technology that we have in our hands:

The problem is not bad reading habits engendered by smartphones, but bad education habits engendered by a misunderstanding of how the mind reads.

Willingham (@DTWillingham) is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author, most recently, of The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads.  Willingham has written other books about reading, including Raising Kids to Read.

[button link=”http://jprof.com/category/writers” color=”red” window=”yes”]Sign up for Jim Stovall’s free newsletter[/button]

To read just about anything above the level of literature for young children requires a base of knowledge — a set of background facts — that many people simply do not have.

All prose has factual gaps that must be filled by the reader. Consider “I promised not to play with it, but Mom still wouldn’t let me bring my Rubik’s Cube to the library.” The author has omitted three facts vital to comprehension: you must be quiet in a library; Rubik’s Cubes make noise; kids don’t resist tempting toys very well. If you don’t know these facts, you might understand the literal meaning of the sentence, but you’ll miss why Mom forbade the toy in the library.

American education’s approach to the problem is to treat reading comprehension as an isolated skill and to spend too much time trying to hone that skill, according to Willingham.

Instead, he says, we should spend far less time on reading comprehension and far more time on helping student broaden their knowledge base.

. . . the systematic building of knowledge must be a priority in curriculum design. The Common Core Standards for reading specify nearly nothing by way of content that children are supposed to know — the document valorizes reading skills. State officials should go beyond the Common Core Standards by writing content-rich grade-level standards and supporting district personnel in writing curriculums to help students meet the standards. That’s what Massachusetts did in the 1990s to become the nation’s education leader. Louisiana has recently taken this approach, and early results are encouraging.

Learn more facts, the professor says. That way, reading will become easier and more enjoyable — and we will be more likely to do it.

Good point.

[button link=”http://jprof.com/category/writers” color=”red” window=”yes”]JPROF’s posts on writers and writing[/button]

 

A ‘day’ becomes a ‘date’; Poe’s rules for detective fiction; a little bit of Henry Fowler

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,140) on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017.

Hi, 

Last week’s question: Were there no Americans before 1776?

An answer came in from newsletter reader and good friend Jane P:

There were many Americans long before 1776, in the numerous Native American societies and groups across what became the U.S. and other modern countries of North and South America. I recommend a compelling book “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” by Charles C. Mann. Here’s a link to the New York Times book review: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/09/books/review/1491-vanished-americans.html

Thanks, Jane.

Viewing tip: Click the display images link above if you haven’t done so already.

Edgar Allan Poe and the development of the detective/mystery novel

American author Edgar Allan Poe — whom we all read in school and some continued to read long afterwards — gets lots of credit for developing the modern detective/mystery novel. He was not the first to write about mysterious crime and its solution, but his five short stories (Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, The Mystery of Marie Roget, Thou Art the Man, and The Gold Bug) pointed the way for future writers to develop this genre.

In addition, Poe — the literary critic — had some definite thoughts about the detective story. It should contain the “unity of effect of impression” that he believed could only be achieved by a short story or something that could be read in one sitting. Plenty of authors have taken the detective story to the novel form and maintained this unity. But Poe also wrote that

the mystery should be preserved throughout most of the story, 

that the mystery should converge in the denouement (“There should be no word written, of which the tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design.”), and

that no “undue or inartistic means should be used by the author to conceal the solution to the mystery.”

This information all comes from Detnovel.com, a website created by Prof. William Marling, who has written extensively on the topic of the detective novel.

December 7, 1941: ‘Day’ becomes ‘date’ — and a historic phrase is born

On the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked, President Franklin Roosevelt dictated a speech that would become one of the most famous in American history. Unlike more modern presidents, who employ an army of speechwriters, Roosevelt wrote much of his own speeches.

He began this one by dictating to Grace Tully, his secretary. The first draft of his first sentence was, “Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a day which will live in world history . . . .”

Roosevelt was a notorious and perfecting editor, particularly of his own copy. No one knows what went through his mind when he was writing and editing this speech, but the evidence that he was giving each word much thought can be found in the image at the right. He made many changes to that draft. To Roosevelt, those first words were important, and they had to be right. They must have sounded flat, like the beginning of a dull history lesson.

Somewhere in the process, “day” became “date,” signifying a larger and more memorable moment in history than just a day. And “world history” became “infamy.” Roosevelt needed a word that would express the outrage that Americans felt about being “suddenly and deliberately attacked.”

Infamy was the word he chose. It hadn’t come to him at first. It came only in the editing process.

And it has become an indelible part of American history.

Read more about this speech and its context here on JPROF.com

True crime podcasts (continued): Casefile

Casefile, a well written and well delivered podcast from Australia, deals with stories of real crime under the moniker: “Fact is scarier than fiction.” Casefile is this week’s true crime podcast recommendation. Casefile deals with crimes from all over the world, not just Australia, but their native cases are often the most interesting and intriguing. The narration is delivered by Anonymous Host, an unnamed voice whose Australian accent is positively charming. The podcasts are well-researched and tightly written and are a pleasure to listen to. Casefile has a large following around the world and has gathered a number of prestigous awards. After listening to a few episodes, it’s easy to see why. Start with Episode 66: The Black Widow and get hooked.

Here’s what else we’ve recommended so far:

True Crime All the Time , hosted by Mike Ferguson and Mike Gibson, or “Gibby,” presents some fascinating cases, and the hosts are well informed (though not experts of any sort). Both have engaging personalities, and a big part of the fun is just hearing them play off of each other. Try episode 45, the case of Adolpho Constanzo and Sara Aldrete. It’s typical of Mike and Gibby’s approach. (Be careful; some of this episode is graphic and hard to take.)

Real Crime Profile, with three excellent hosts, have discussions of criminal cases that are riveting and insightful. The link provided above is to a list of some of the recent podcasts. Start anywhere. You will be fascinated. (Real Crime Profile on Facebook.)

Dirty John: Christopher Goffard, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has written and narrates a series called Dirty John. It’s the story of Debra Newell and John Meehan and is a true crime podcast of the highest order. It will take you a while to get through it, but once you start, you’ll likely be hooked. The reporting is thorough, the interviews are fascinating, and the story is full of twists, turns, and surprises. The ending is well worth the journey. Here’s a link to part 1, “The Real Thing.”

Sword and Scale. This website and podcast, according to its own description, is about “the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it.” The folks associated with Sword and Scale have spent a lot of time producing interesting and informative podcasts about serious crimes. One episode I listened to was episode 90. It was an hour well spent.

Do you have any true crime podcast recommendations to share with fellow readers?

Crimes Against English: Readers’ pet peeves

Reader and friend Dan C. (Las Vegas) writes:

My pet peeve with the English language (though I assume it is happening in all languages) is the destruction of spelling, punctuation, and grammar brought about by original SMS text and Twitter character count limitations. The flaws of texting are taking over email and even the actual written word. The French went after what they felt was the terrible destruction of their language in the 1970’s, with the influx of Americanisms and words (Blue Jeans was a big no no). I haven’t heard the same uproar with the bastardization of language from texting.

What’s your pet peeve about English, its use or misuse?

Giveaways

Christmas Spree Giveaway. As usual each month, I get together with some other authors to sponsor an Amazon gift card giveaway. This month’s giveaway is $180, which should come in handy for some Christmas shopping. The giveaway sign-up runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Go to this Rafflecopter link to sign up: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/77deea0966/?

The Prolific Reader. Kill the Quarterback is listed there along with some other great mysteries. https://theprolificreader.com/mystery/

More from The Devil’s Dictionary

More entries from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, these from the letter F:

FINANCE, n. The art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager. The pronunciation of this word with the i long and the accent on the first syllable is one of America’s most precious discoveries and possessions.

FLAG, n. A colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and ships. It appears to serve the same purpose as certain signs that one sees on vacant lots in London—”Rubbish may be shot here.”

FORGETFULNESS, n. A gift of God bestowed upon doctors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.

FUNERAL, n. A pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and strengthen our grief by an expenditure that deepens our groans and doubles our tears.

The savage dies—they sacrifice a horse
  To bear to happy hunting-grounds the corpse.
  Our friends expire—we make the money fly
  In hope their souls will chase it to the sky.

You can get a free copy of The Devil’s Dictionary in a variety of formats through Project Gutenberg.

A bit of Henry Watson Fowler wisdom

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned Henry Watson Fowler’s book, Modern English Usage, as a good volume to have for those who are interested in English. Fowler is superb in writing about the nuances of the language, and I thought I would give some some bit of flavor of his book. This is the entry on the word intended:

Intended, n. It is curious that betrothed people should find it so difficult to hit upon a comfortable word to describe each other by. ‘My intended’, ‘my fiance(e)’ , ‘my sweetheart’, ‘my love(r)’, ‘my (wo)man’, ‘my boy (girl) friend’, ‘my future wife (husband)’, ‘my wife (husband) to be’ — none of these is much to their taste, too emotional, or too French, or too vulgar, or too evasive. The last two objections are in fact one; evasion of plain words is vulgarity; and “my intended” gives the impression that the poor things are shy of specifying the bond between them; so too with ‘my engaged,’ and the modern word ‘steady’ does not necessarily imply serious intentions. And so in finance(e), they resort to French instead of vague English for their embarrassing though futile disguise. It is no doubt too late to suggest that another chance be given to betrothed. It means just what it should, i.e., pledged to be married, and is not vulgarized and would be a dignified word for public use. But it is so out of fashion as to sound facetious.

Fowler’s book is full of this kind of stuff. Get one for yourself or for someone who loves the language.

 

Finally . . .

This week’s watercolor: Edgar Allen Poe

This is a larger version of the one at the top of this newsletter. The painting is watercolor on Strathmore Bristol hot press paper. I have been practicing portraits lately and using some 19th and 20th century writers and artists as my subjects.

Best quote of the week:

If I can do no more, let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won. Louisa May Alcott, writer and reformist (1832-1888) .

Do not forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. These and many other disasters mean that people need our help. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR.org) is my favorite charity. Please make a contribution to yours.Keep reading and have a great weekend.

Jim

Jim Stovall 
www.jprof.com

You can connect with Jim on FacebookTwitterLinkedin, and BookBub.

His Amazon author page is where you can find more information about his books.

Last week’s newsletter

 

Reviews:

5-star review: I this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I loved this book! Its plot and characters are quite realistic. Having been a high school teacher I felt the voices of the teens were correctly written. It is a great read!

Kill the Quarterback

5-star review: I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. Wow. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I thought I would read a few pages and then bam! I was hooked! Excellent writing. Excellent story. I could not figure out whodunit and that’s the best kind of mystery. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!

 

Unsubscribe | 2126 Middlesettlements Road, Maryville, Tennessee 37801 

More about true crime podcasts; Fowler’s English classic; and giveaways galore

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,261) on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Hi, 

The county where I live, Blount (pronounced blunt) is home to a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smokies are beautiful any time of the year but especially so during the fall foliage season, which has just ended. There is much more to the Smokies than the beautiful landscapes, however. The mountains are responsible for the watercolor toward the end of this newsletter.

Viewing tip: Click the display images link above if you haven’t done so already.

A remarkable tale of courage

The world lost one of its true heroes with the passing of Jeannie Rousseau in August. While I usually write about people who were writers, Rousseau’s story is too good to pass up without noting. She lived in Paris during World War II and took advantage of all of her resources — fluent German, a delightful disposition, steely courage, and a photographic memory — to score one of the great espionage coups of the war.

Yet, she never made much of what she did, waiting more than 50 years to tell her story and then downplaying its significance.

Read more about this remarkable woman here on JPROF.

More for the fans of true crime

Christopher Goffard, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has written and narrates a six-part true crime podcast called Dirty John. It’s the story of Debra Newell and John Meehan and is a true crime podcast of the highest order. It will take you a while to get through it, but once you start, you’ll likely be hooked. The reporting is thorough, the interviews are fascinating, and the story is full of twists, turns, and surprises. The ending is well worth the journey.

Meehan is one of those truly evil individuals, and his grip on Newell and her family is compelling. Here’s a link to part 1, “The Real Thing.”

Last week I recommended a series called Sword and Scale. This website and podcast, according to its own description, is about “the dark underworld of crime and the criminal justice system’s response to it.” The folks associated with Sword and Scale have spent a lot of time producing interesting and informative podcasts about serious crimes. One episode I listened to was episode 90. Here’s the description:

When Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Claudia Rowe, author of The Spider and The Fly, decided to write to a serial killer, she wasn’t prepared for how it would change her life. In her quest to understand the nature of cruelty, she ended up discovering much more about herself.

It was an hour well spent.

Where did English come from, and how it is used?

One of my favorite topics is the English language — its history, development, and use. Over the decades, a number of great scholars have devoted their lives to studying the language, and they have shared their knowledge, understanding, and conclusions with the rest of us.

One of those scholars was Henry Fowler, an English schoolmaster who lived from 1858 to 1933 and made the study of English his lifelong work. Fowler’s classic is A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. It was originally published in 1926 and has since been revised and updated. It is so well known and established as essential among scholars that its title is now Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage.

I bought a copy of this book early in my academic career of teaching about journalism and journalistic writing, and I have kept it ever since and referred to it often. Fowler is insightful and often wry, and the entries — long or short — are always fun to read.

If you have one book on your shelf about the language, Fowler should be the one.

Giveaways

The Prolific Reader. Kill the Quarterback is listed there along with some other great mysteries. https://theprolificreader.com/mystery/

BookFunnel November MysteriesKill the Quarterback is included in this one, too. There are some great new mysteries here that you will want to check out. The giveaway runs through Nov. 20, so don’t wait. Head over there today, and see what you want to put on your shelf. https://books.bookfunnel.com/novembermysteries/iygwd1dtrg

The winner of the Amazon gift card contest from last week’s newsletter is Linny Marcus. Congrats Linny!

More from The Devil’s Dictionary

More entries from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, these from the letter J:

J is a consonant in English, but some nations use it as a vowel— than which nothing could be more absurd. Its original form, which has been but slightly modified, was that of the tail of a subdued dog, and it was not a letter but a character, standing for a Latin verb, jacere, “to throw,” because when a stone is thrown at a dog the dog’s tail assumes that shape. This is the origin of the letter, as expounded by the renowned Dr. Jocolpus Bumer, of the University of Belgrade, who established his conclusions on the subject in a work of three quarto volumes and committed suicide on being reminded that the j in the Roman alphabet had originally no curl.

JEALOUS, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.

JEWS-HARP, n. An unmusical instrument, played by holding it fast with the teeth and trying to brush it away with the finger.

JOSS-STICKS, n. Small sticks burned by the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery, in imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy religion.

JUSTICE, n. A commodity which is a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

Bierce was a Civil War combat veteran who became one of the nation’s foremost writers and cynics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I promised to tell you more about Bierce, and that will happen in the near future. You can get a free copy of The Devil’s Dictionary in a variety of formats through Project Gutenberg.

Finally . . .

Watercolor of the week: The fiddle player


This watercolor is based on a photograph taken by Doris Ulman. A New Yorker by birth, Ulman was a professional photographer who came to the Southern Appalachians because of her fascination with the people and their culture. She is an important figure not only in the history of photography and photojournalism but also in documenting the lives and ways of the area around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

I’ll have more to say about the Smokies in subsequent newsletters.

Do not forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. These and many other disasters mean that people need our help. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR.org) is my favorite charity. Please make a contribution to yours.Keep reading and have a great weekend.

Jim

Jim Stovall
www.jprof.com

You can connect with Jim on FacebookTwitterLinkedin, and BookBub.

His Amazon author page is where you can find more information about his books.

Last week’s newsletter

 


Reviews:

5-star review: I this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I loved this book! Its plot and characters are quite realistic. Having been a high school teacher I felt the voices of the teens were correctly written. It is a great read!

Kill the Quarterback

5-star review: I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. Wow. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I thought I would read a few pages and then bam! I was hooked! Excellent writing. Excellent story. I could not figure out whodunit and that’s the best kind of mystery. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!

Unsubscribe | 2126 Middlesettlements Road, Maryville, Tennessee 37801 

Another reader on free expression; Anger as temporary madness

This newsletter was sent to all those on Jim’s newsletter list (3,873) on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

Hi, 

Where did English come from? The origins of English are many and varied. If you don’t know much about it, there’s a great sub-five-minute video from Open Culture embedded at the top of the JPROF.com website.The Origins of English

Gardening is a year-round activity: I spent a couple of hours on my tractor on Thursday afternoon sub-soiling the garden. A subsoiler digs deeply into the ground, much deeper than a plow. The purpose is to turn over a lot of dirt and create deep furrows. The rains and snows of winter will freeze and thaw repeatedly inside these furrows, and by spring the soil will not have as many clumps and will be easier to till and plant.

Do not forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. These and many other disasters mean that people need our help. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR.org) is my favorite charity. Please make a contribution to yours.

Viewing tip: Click the display images link above if you haven’t done so already.

Another reader’s take on the First Amendment and free expression

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your thoughts about the First Amendment and free expression and any of the current controversies related to these ideas. I have continued to get responses on this important topic. The latest was this week from Jim S. He says, in part:

. . . I believe in free speech. Chaos is not free speech. I also believe in the freedom to attend and listen or to not attend.

If an opposing point needs to be presented, let that be set up and let the dialog go forward in an orderly manner with each side showing the respect of allowing the opposite side to fully present (without dominating the time) their position.

If a demonstration is needed, a large demonstration in front of city hall will usually draw TV and other news coverage. Is this effective? Here is a piece from scripture that seems applicable.

“In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” Luke 18:2-5 (NASB)

Yelling and screaming to block another person’s free speech is NOT free speech in any context of the phrase. Neither is violence. . . .

 

Jim’s entire statement is found below the signature of this email.

Other thoughts? I find the different thoughts and points of view fascinating, so please share them.

Something to think about: Anger as temporary madness

I ran across an interesting article a couple of weeks ago by Massimo Pigliucci, a philosophy professor, on how the Stoics of ancient Greece viewed and dealt with anger.

Seneca thought that anger is a temporary madness, and that even when justified, we should never act on the basis of it because, though ‘other vices affect our judgment, anger affects our sanity: others come in mild attacks and grow unnoticed, but men’s minds plunge abruptly into anger. … Its intensity is in no way regulated by its origin: for it rises to the greatest heights from the most trivial beginnings.’

I have been thinking a lot about that — and the entire article — since reading it. Take a couple of minutes to read it yourself.

James Callan: Where do ideas come from? Everywhere

Last week I included a bit about James Callan, an independent author, and a blog post on JPROF.com about where he gets his idea. Here’s another excerpt from that post.

A few years back, a number of church burnings occurred in east Texas. When they finally caught the two arsonists, the only reason given was, “Could we get away with it?” As I thought about it over a year, I just couldn’t imagine someone burning down buildings for no reason. What could be a reason? And that became Cleansed by Fire, where churches were burned. But there was a reason.

That’s just a part of my interview. Jim has lots of interesting things to say about his books. You can read the entire interview on JPROF.com.

Cleansed by Fire, Over My Dead Body, A Ton of Gold, A Silver Medallion, and other books by James R. Callan can be viewed on his Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1eeykvG or by visiting his website:http://www.jamesrcallan.com

Giveaways

The Prolific Reader. Kill the Quarterback is listed there along with some other great mysteries. https://theprolificreader.com/mystery/

More from The Devil’s Dictionary

I have been having a lot of fun reading and selecting entries from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, a book you should know more about. Here are a few more:

WEDDING, n. A ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable.

SAINT, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. The Duchess of Orleans relates that the irreverent old calumniator, Marshal Villeroi, who in his youth had known St. Francis de Sales, said, on hearing him called saint: “I am delighted to hear that Monsieur de Sales is a saint. He was fond of saying indelicate things, and used to cheat at cards. In other respects he was a perfect gentleman, though a fool.”

SACRAMENT, n. A solemn religious ceremony to which several degrees of authority and significance are attached. Rome has seven sacraments, but the Protestant churches, being less prosperous, feel that they can afford only two, and these of inferior sanctity. Some of the smaller sects have no sacraments at all—for which mean economy they will indubitably be damned.

POSTERITY, n. An appellate court which reverses the judgment of a popular author’s contemporaries, the appellant being his obscure competitor.

Bierce was a Civil War combat veteran who became one of the nation’s foremost writers and cynics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I promised to tell you more about Bierce, and that will happen in the near future. You can get a free copy of The Devil’s Dictionary in a variety of formats through Project Gutenberg.

Finally . . .

A friend asked that I do a painting of the farmhouse where her husband grew up. The house is gone, and there are no good pictures. She had a picture that gave me some information and said there was a road leading down to the house. I took it from there, and this is what I came up with.

Keep reading and have a great weekend.

Jim

Jim Stovall
www.jprof.com

You can connect with Jim on FacebookTwitterLinkedin, and BookBub.

His Amazon author page is where you can find more information about his books.

Last week’s newsletter

Statement by reader Jim S. on the First Amendment and free expression:

Free Speech

Jim, I started to respond to your enquiry about opinions on free speech. I found myself so wound around the axle that, what I wrote did not need to be sent. I became so emotionally involved that it became unworthy to be placed in public view.

Now, some may think what I just said is blathering and unnecessary. But, I imagine, and this is borne out by many I see yelling and screaming on the news, that many others have found themselves in that same position and need to calm down before they present.

I will do my best to put that aside because it does not add anything to a good understanding.

I believe in free speech. Chaos is not free speech. I also believe in the freedom to attend and listen or to not attend.

If an opposing point needs to be presented, let that be set up and let the dialog go forward in an orderly manner with each side showing the respect of allowing the opposite side to fully present (without dominating the time) their position.

If a demonstration is needed, a large demonstration in front of city hall will usually draw TV and other news coverage. Is this effective? Here is a piece from scripture that seems applicable.

“In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” Luke 18:2-5 (NASB)

Yelling and screaming to block another person’s free speech is NOT free speech in any context of the phrase. Neither is violence.

As to listening, there is a principle that applies, not just to me but to all of us. I hold some of my beliefs much stronger than others. For the beliefs I hold strongest, I will only listen to the different point of view if the other person is willing to listen to my position.

My belief in Jesus as the Christ, the anointed one of God, is my primary belief. I believe he lived, I believe he died on a cruel Roman stake, and I believe he rose to life in power and I believe he lives today. I have had many evidences, enough to strongly believe all those elements are true. My hold on those points is very strong. I would only listen to an opposing view if that person would listen to my evidence.

I do not insist that you believe as I do. However, I know in my heart that you would be in a better position if you did and I can and will wish that you did. I do insist that you have the freedom to choose what I believe or to choose something else. That’s a significant part of free speech.

For those beliefs I hold less strong, I am willing to hear another side if it is presented in a thought out, reasoned manner. There may be areas of agreement and I may find a different way to think about things.

On the other hand, if an argument is presented, with screaming and yelling as its most persuasive points, I am not so interested. If a position is presented based on untruths, I really don’t want to hear it and I will turn it off, even if the person may have some valid points.

For example, the group that has the rallying cry, “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” probably has valid points to address. But I can’t get passed their cry based on a non-occurrence. I just can’t get passed the lie to hear any valid complaint.

Another example is when people intentionally kneel or sit while the national anthem is played.

First consider, why do we stand when the anthem is played? This is to honor our country, our flag and the privilege of being a part of America. When people who are able to stand during this brief time, choose to kneel or sit, what other conclusion can I come to but that they choose to dishonor our flag, our country and the privilege of being a citizen? For someone to say that was not what they were saying just does not ring true.

If they chose a different mode to present their point (and I believe many are available), I would be more likely to listen. As it is, I have made the choice to watch less TV on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, and I am not likely to return to watching those events (I realize I am a small drop in the bucket.)

This is my two cents, and, I believe, worth every penny.

Thanks for the opportunity Jim.

Blessings, Jim Stow

4-star review: You have to love a female lead character set in the sixties whose storyline isn’t about getting knocked up or becoming a drug addict in an abusive relationship, this may well be a first for a YA female in a story set in the the 60s or 70s, a rarity for any historic setting unfortunately.
A good story with a strong female lead.

Kill the Quarterback

5-star review: An excellent book with building suspense that makes it hard to put down even for a little while. The characters are fresh and nicely developed with some gentle humour.

Unsubscribe | 2126 Middlesettlements Road, Maryville, Tennessee 37801 

August was a good month for reviews of Kill the Quarterback

[button link=”https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/194847?v=6″ style=”tick” color=”silver” text=”dark” window=”yes”]Sign up for your free copy of Kill the Quarterback[/button]

August brought in some very generous reviews for Kill the Quarterback. Here’s what they said:

A star quarterback is dead before his senior year. A troubled struggling reporter, Mitch Sawyer, must track down the killer before he kills again. Overall, Kill the Quarterback is as nostalgic as the great classic mysteries. Very well written and compelling. All mystery lovers, grab your copy today.

***

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kill the Quarterback by Jim Stovall. It had interesting and complex characters who came alive in the story. I loved the fact that the book kept me guessing who the killer was right until the end. I also enjoyed the fact that it was written from a journalist’s point of view. I highly recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.

***

Take a big football hero and mix in the Asian community and you have the basis for a good story. Then, add in the intrigue of a newspaper office with positions at stake and most of us will be hooked. Kill the Quarterback has all these, and more. Oh yes, some of it is predictable. But, then just as you think you know something, you get slapped with a new twist. Mr. Stovall has done an excellent job in creating mystery and suspense. It’s clear he knows the newspaper business. I recommend this book, and await his next mystery.

***

I certainly stepped outside of the box reading Kill the Quarterback. Overall, reading the book reminded me of watching an old black and white Humphrey Bogart movie where he narrates in first person. Given that, the author of Killing the Quarterback has done an excellent job re-creating that imagery through rich dialogue that is embedded between and within the characters. The depth and layering of the descriptive’s allow the reader to see, touch, smell as if they were a part of the story is instrumental in the overall experience. There were times when I was lamenting the story becoming tedious in getting to unveiling who the killer was, but then other times I became so caught up in the character involvement and narrative that I wasn’t thinking of when will the killer be unveiled. I would say that the back and forth can be a sign of a good book, but also a delicate balancing act which had me conflicted while reading, yet caught off guard by the killer’s identity at the end. In fact, I read the last chapter three times to understand not only who the killer was but why. (NOTE: I received a free advanced copy of the book to read in exchange for providing an honest review). I would RECOMMEND Kill The Quarterback as your next read. –Tex.

***

I read a lot of crime fiction novels, only occasionally do I come across one the caliber of Jim Stovall’s “Kill the Quarterback”. Fast moving right from the start. Exciting plot-line. Colorful characters. The prose is peppered with thought provoking analogies and commentary from the protagonist Mitchell Sawyer, a few examples: “Donnie could be as comforting as a prescription drug commercial and just as deceptive…”; “..the rain pelted my windshield hard, as if the water were angry at the glass for its mere existence”; “a whistle-less freight train on a dark night couldn’t have hit me any harder than the impact I felt from what she just said” and my favorite Mitch speaking about Dr Klein, the police pathologist: “Most of what medical school is about is learning how to talk to civilians with a straight face in a language they won’t understand and making them feel inadequate because of it. Klein had learned his lessons well”.

 

[button link=”https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/194847?v=6″ style=”tick” color=”silver” text=”dark” window=”yes”]Sign up for your free copy of Kill the Quarterback[/button

Time for book shopping – without spending any money; 5 volumes of Civil War combat art

This newsletter went out to my email list on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Hi there,

I hope that this week has been a good one for you.

Giveaways

We were a little thin on giveaways last week. Not so this week. Kill the Quarterback is part of a couple of giveaways that you will want to check out. And you can put your wallet away. They’re all free.

Lose Yourself in Free BooksOne of the best selections of FREE books I’ve seen in a very long time. More than 230 books spanning 13 genres from some of today’s hottest authors, all free July 24-30. Download as many summer reads as you likehttp://www.andreadomanski.com/promo You’re welcome, @instafreebie Technically, the promotion doesn’t start for a few days, but you can head over there now and start downloading.

BookDealsToday. We’re running a mystery/thriller/suspense giveaway that can fill up your summer reading list pretty quickly. The promo dates are July 20-28, so you should check it out now. http://bookdeals.today/

Pamela Crane’s latest, The Art of Fear, for $0.99

One of the authors I work with is Pamela Crane, a mother-of-four writer of gritty mystery and thriller books and short stories. The book is titled The Art of Fear, and here’s the tagline:

A crime no one saw. A suicide no one questioned. A twist no one will predict…as Ari faces her demons and the killer behind them.

You can purchase it at this link: http://wp.me/P8wO9Y-2 Scroll down below the signature of this email to find out more about the book and take a look at the cover.

If you read and liked Kill the Quarterback . . .

. . . why not recommend it to a friend? All you have to do is forward this email to someone you think would enjoy the book.

Point out that Kill the Quarterback is available in either one of the promotions listed above. Hands-free, no cost. A great way to say “thank you” or just “thinking of you.”

If you do forward this email, put my email on it, too, so I’ll have a record of it. I won’t email your friends myself, but having a record is important. I’ll explain next week.

Battlelines: Gettysburg

All five volumes of the first set of Civil War Combat Artists and the Pictures They Drew are complete and available on Amazon (which stills thinks there are three volumes, rather than five). The first volume, Battlelines: Road to Gettysburg, is free. The second, Battlelines: Gettysburg, Day 1, can be downloaded for free at this link. I have spent a good part of my week working on the next volume in this series, a set of drawings related to the battle of Antietam, America’s deadliest day.

On the farm

We finished cutting up about 10 silver-leaf poplars this week that had been blown down in the storm we had several weeks ago. That was a big, hot job, and I’m glad it’s over.

Have a great weekend.

Jim


Jim Stovall
www.jprof.com

The Art of Fear by Pamela Crane

A father’s suspicious death. A daughter’s motive for revenge. And a cunning killer plotting again.

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago, the day she watched her sister die in a tragic accident. Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, Ari stumbles through life…and onto an unlikely clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental.

A psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-enslaved escapee who suspects foul play in her long-lost father’s suicide. In a pursuit of justice, Tina drags Ari into playing a dangerous game with the killer.

As the two murders seem connected, Ari must face her demons and the killer behind them … or lose everything she loves.

http://wp.me/P8wO9Y-2


Unsubscribe | 2126 Middlesettlements Road, Maryville, Tennessee 37801 

Reviews, they always help; Battlelines: the complete Gettysburg

Jim Stovall’s email newsletter for July 14, 2017

Hi there,

I hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend.

Reviews

Writers always want people to read their books, and they want their readers to love what they read. But what the writer needs is honesty. That’s why I alway suggest that folks who’ve read my work leave honest reviews, not just reviews.

Kill the Quarterback got an honest review this week, and I appreciate it very much. The reviewer wrote:

This was a nice first effort. Fast paced with short, choppy sentences enabling the reader to speed through the pages. There was a definite knowledge of someone who had worked in the newspaper business, but less knowledge of police procedures.

Then the reviewer goes on to list some criticisms of the book. You can read the entire review here.

If you have read Kill the Quarterback or Point Spread, please do consider leaving a review — an honest review, of course.

Favorite mystery/thriller author

I continue getting responses to my question: Who’s your favorite mystery/thriller author?

Charles (my old college friend): James Lee Burke‘s novels featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux, and Walter Mosley‘s novels featuring private investigator Easy Rawlins. I’ve read them all, and they occupy special places on my bookshelves. Burke’s Robicheaux is a deeply flawed, but intensely human character whose inability to walk away from the task of shouldering the weight of the world leaves him vulnerable to those who would do harm to him and to those he loves. Mosley’s Rawlins is a study in how to take the world as one finds it and to deal with it, managing to emerge from tight situations with his soul intact. I can’t get enough of either character.

Jane: James Patterson and John Grisham.

Michael: John T. Lescroart and James Lee Burke. Holding out hope that you will end up on my list.

Battlelines

All five volumes of the Civil War combat art series Battlelines are now available on Amazon and elsewhere in both digital and paperback versions. That’s taken up most of my week, but at least it’s done. Amazon, for reasons unknown to me, thinks it’s a three-volume set rather than five, and they have set up a special page for those three books. I’m not sure how to go about correcting that, but it’s nice that they’re paying some attention to the books.

Here’s a minute-and-a-half YouTube video that introduces the series.

The first volume, Battlelines: Road to Gettysburg, is free on Amazon. The second volume, Battlelines: Gettysburg, Day 1, can be downloaded at this link for free.

Now that Gettysburg has been taken care of, I am at work on a volume of the drawings of the battle of Antietam. After that, Fredericksburg.

On the farm . . .

Corn and beans have been harvested and put up. We continue to gather peppers, potatoes, okra, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes. I also spent a good part of the week sawing up a neighbor’s silver-leaf poplars that were blown over by the storm a few weeks ago. Lots of fun.

Have a great weekend.

Jim


Jim Stovall
www.jprof.com