Archive for the 'Writing' Category

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XIII…

April 24th, 2017

The Utopian dreaming I do now had to do with encouraging cheerfulness and bravery by the formation of good gangs. —to Mark Vonnegut on 29 August 1972, p. 183 Kurt Vonnegut: Letters. There are a lot of good gangs out there like the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus and Our Revolution and dreams only seem utopian […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XII…

April 22nd, 2017

Vonnegut, I fear, as a teacher at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is working with adults who have a reasonably solid conception of their career path. They were, after all, paying no small sum of cash for the privilege of working under his tutelage. As a teacher, I was usually pretty good at helping people […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XI…

April 15th, 2017

Meeting the expectations, or the imagined (ours not theirs) expectations of others is a fool’s errand. Most people, I’ve found, are too busy dealing with their own craziness and if they’re not, they ought to be. We all just need to get on with what we thing is right and let the rest of the […]

EXERCISING PATIENCE IN THE INTERNET AGE…

April 14th, 2017

This may be the most extreme example of a personal marshmallow test I have ever come across. Nadeem Aslam, writing in I take delight that my initials in Urdu look like a pen by an inkwell for The Guardian relates his experience: There are afternoons when I don’t write, using the internet instead. I see […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: X…

April 8th, 2017

I may have been blessed by my father’s decision to not give any great deal of good advice. In my life I can only recall three times when we discussed what I might do. The first was between 8th and 9th grades when he told me that he would do all that he could to […]

TRUTH IS OUT THERE, BUT FINDING IT IS HARD…

April 4th, 2017

Sean Spicer is not the Trump administration press secretary burning down the system. Ralph Nader, writing in Self-Censored Questions by Career Questioners, encourages journalists to do their damn jobs: I’ve always been intrigued by the major questions not asked by reporters at press conferences, not asked by legislators at public hearings or even the questions […]

ENTER A DREAM THROUGH THEME, ATMOSPHERE…

April 2nd, 2017

Robert Owen Butler talks about entering the dream when he considering his writing routine. Simenon seems to be talking much about the same when he speaks of his own process in preparing to write a novel. I’ve also found this idea in the writings of Walter Mosley. The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. […]

A BIT OF WRITER PORN FOR A CHILLY AFTERNOON…

April 1st, 2017

There is also Marta Bausells’ Best writers’ sheds—in pictures for The Guardian (you can see the interior of the re-created Walden cabin here.) If you’re interested in writers and their machines, take a look Bausells’ Typewriters and their owners: famous authors at work—in pictures

FIRST YOU QUARRY THE BLOCK OF MARBLE, THEN…

April 1st, 2017

The 60 hours John Boyne references in his quote below produced the first draft of Boy In the Striped Pajamas. The comment I left on the piece said that as a writer, I would really like to see the manuscript produced by those 60 hours. Boyne, writing in I began on Wednesday morning and wrote […]

WHAT I’M READING NOW: BERNIE TO EDUCATION…

March 26th, 2017

First up this morning, Trevor Timm on Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party. My takeaway: In other words, [the DNC elite are] doubling down on the exact same failing strategy that Clinton used in the final months of the campaign. Sanders himself put it this way in his usual blunt style […]

WHITE MEN NEED TO GET OVER OURSELVES…

March 9th, 2017

A few years ago, during Black History Month, one of my students of Anglo-Saxon lineage asked: Why don’t we have have White History Month? I replied, We do, they’re called January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December at which point several of the non-Anglo-Saxon students in the room exchanged […]

GOMEZ: HUGE LOSS FOR CLEVELAND JOURNALISM…

March 7th, 2017

More than a ten or so years ago, when Cleveland’s blogger scene was much tighter than today, Henry Gomez was known as one of the good guys. Cleveland journalism is diminished by his loss, but I can’t say I’m surprised that he’s moving out and up. In fact, I’m surprised that the move took this […]

WRITING IS HARD, BUT IT IS JOYOUS…

February 14th, 2017

MANAGER YOUR TIME BY MANAGING YOUR ENERGY…

February 14th, 2017

Occasionally I find a post—rather than a comic—from Scott Adams worth repeating. This post on managing energy to manage time resonates with all the reading I’ve been doing from Cal Newport since I finished his Deep Work last year. The key challenge to the strategy is that most people do are not self-employed and able […]

A GOOD DAY IS ONE WHERE YOU WAKE UP…

February 4th, 2017

I’m fond of suggesting that any day you wake up is a good day. The rest is all gravy. John Burnside, writing in Writing is what I steal from the usual flow of things for The Guardian’s My Writing Day series takes a similar line’ In the final analysis, that probably says it all: a […]

NAYMIK MAKES JACKSON APPEAR ABOVE IT ALL

February 3rd, 2017

It looks as if the Plain Dealer wants to start a bandwagon effect for the re-election of sub-par mayor Frank Jackson. He’s a man who has overstayed his welcome. My opinion. Columnist Mark Naymik in a piece today—Mayor Frank Jackson can’t be a reluctant candidate if he wants to win fourth-term—made it appear that Jackson […]

TIME TO SHOVEL OUT THE BLOGPILE…

February 2nd, 2017

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens All You Need is Less says goodbye: the best comments from a year of columns Naval Academy reinstates celestial navigation TPP Isn’t About Free Trade — It’s About Protecting Corporate Profits Details of Dallas gunman’s larger plans emerge after protests around the US Gay Talese: ‘Most journalists are voyeurs. Of […]

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, PRESIDENT TRUMP…

January 28th, 2017

Not since President Richard Milhous Nixon has an American president so energized my first profession: Journalism. In the aftermath of Watergate, journalism schools across the country saw an uptick in enrollments that carried forward for a good 10 years cumulating, perhaps, in the expansion of schools under the Scripps Howard banner like my own alma […]

WE HAVE LEFT THE TRUTHINESS ZONE…

January 26th, 2017

No wonder sales of George Orwell’s 1948 dystopian classic 1984 have, in 21st century terms, gone viral. Yesterday over morning tea I had just this conversation that Richard Wolfe suggests in Trump’s lies are delusional. But the dangers they pose are now very real. For The Guardian, Wolfe writes: Let us count the ways Donald […]

WRITERS ARE WAKED BY OUR CREATIVE MINDS…

January 14th, 2017

There is something magical and damning about the moment when I slip over the edge and tumble into sleep. The magical part is the sweetness of the images that slide past in the fall. The damning part is the frantic need to scramble for a handhold like Kirk or Scotty, so that I can quickly […]

Next »