Category Archives: Books

This President Doesn’t Read Books, but the Orange Clown Sure Can Sell Them

The US Constitution and a 69 year-old work on the roots of Nazism and communism, The Origins of Totalitarianism,by Hannah Arendt, were both beneficiaries of a spurt in sales prompted by fear of our president, a so-called “Trump Bump”.  Many more Americans … Continue reading

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My yearly blog entry is way overdue.

To bring my many readers up to date, I’m still working on my MFA, and I’m still dicking around with various “Little Magazines” trying to get something published. I haven’t been able to kick the habit totally. To quote Silvio … Continue reading

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Mavis Gallant’s agent was a crook

The reason Gallant was a starving writer in Spain was that payments for several stories in the New Yorker were kept by her agent, Jacques Chambrun. She wasn’t the only client he robbed. This entry in the New Yorker blog, … Continue reading

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It is a question of writing or not writing. There is no other way.

The July 9 & 16 issue of the New Yorker has a selection of Mavis Gallant’s wonderful journal entries from her days as a starving writer in Spain. Unfortunately, I can’t provide a link to the article, since they’ll only … Continue reading

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I’m being stalked by an internet criminal mastermind!!

I just got my first Facebook scam message.  It came from a guy who calls himself James Koku.   I think it’s a scam, but maybe it’s a parody of a scam.  It is so poorly written I can’t imagine who … Continue reading

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Trivial times demand trivial writers

Richard Brautigan was a big deal writer in the 1960s. He sold a lot of books, had a bunch of lovers and, according to a NYT review, got to hang out, get drunk and shoot guns with writers like Jim … Continue reading

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Pitching – the Aftermath

It’s done.  I went to New York and pitched my book.  It was a great experience, and I even found an editor who asked me to send her the first 50 pages.  It was also at times a sobering and … Continue reading

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The Elevator Pitch

I’m attending the New York Pitch conference this month, which will give me a chance to talk up my book to editors who are supposedly looking for new material.  I guess this will be kind of like a job interview, … Continue reading

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The Slug in Winter

Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD.  I hate those pseudo-medical names for conditions that should be left to poets and fiction writers.  The sun goes away in the winter and inertia takes over.  It’s not quite depression, but death is much … Continue reading

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It took an Englishman to explain the Lebanese civil war

I’m going to Lebanon in a few weeks, and I’ve been re-reading the classic history of the Lebanese civil war, Pity the Nation, by Robert Fisk. Fisk is an English journalist(who I mistakenly labelled “Irish” in an earlier version of … Continue reading

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