Hard-bitten Tenderness

Stories, by Anton Chekhov I have some 30-40 pieces of short fiction under my belt, most of them published. That this is so may be testimony more to the desperation of litmags and zines than to my prowess in writing such stories. But I promise – after slogging through edits on three novels I have […]

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New Age Lemonade

Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, by Elizabeth Lesser A friend had given me this book after my wife died, and I’ve just now gotten to it (Sorry about that, Anne). So the best way to explain this book’s presence in the world is to mention the author. Elizabeth Lessing is […]

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Old School Methodology For New Writers

This popped up on Facebook recently from an NPR post. As the article suggests, diagramming isn’t taught anymore, and from what I see of quite a few older, self-published writers’ work, they’ve forgotten all they might’ve ever known about diagramming. So what, you say? Much of the unschooled writing I’ve seen has garbled syntax: modifiers […]

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Eating The Postmodern Novel

The White Boy Shuffle, by Paul Beatty I had read Beatty’s latest, The Sellout, a few months ago and didn’t much care for it. When this happens, I usually ask, “What’s wrong with me? What did I miss?” I did miss something, but I’ll sort that out in a sec. I’m afraid, dear reader, that […]

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The Great Possessive Apostrophe War

  I keep seeing writing where the writer uses “it’s” instead of “its” to indicate a possessive pronoun. So let me say here and now: IT’S WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!” But there was a time deep into my early years (no, no dinosaurs still roaming) when the possessive pronoun was burdened with an apostrophe, as in: […]

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The Lost Elegance of Baseball

Something has been troubling me of late. I’ve been losing my passion for my first true love. No, check that – my first true love was Grandma Mable, my best friend and sounding board, who all but rescued me from dysfunctional parents. Two sentences in, and already I digress. I’m speaking of baseball. Baseball from […]

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