Archive for the 'Writing' Category

I WANT A READING CHAIR LIKE THIS ONE…

May 20th, 2017

A cursory search on line did not turn up a reasonable facsimile of what wartier Ahdaf Soueif describes as his Victorian reading chair, but I think the chair, with a built-in book arm is near perfect.

A PERFECT MANTRA FOR WRITERS…

May 15th, 2017

Previously…

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WRITER’S NOTEBOOK…

May 4th, 2017

The one piece of advice I would offer to any writer would be to record every thought you can in a series of analog notebooks that you will be able to reference throughout your life. In reading Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling I came across […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XV…

May 2nd, 2017

I don’t know why I write. I can talk about needs and drives and magic and book store groupies (actually I just made that one up, although maybe there are hot, sexy women who hang out at bookstores for famous author signing; feck, who am I kidding?), but in the end I don’t have a […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: XIV…

April 29th, 2017

I first, knowingly, encountered clinical depression in the early ’90s when a co-worker shared that she was taking Prozac so that she didn’t need to spend her lunch hours crying in her car parked at the back of the parking lot. Since then I’ve known quite a few people who suffer from Depression, some so […]

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 […]

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