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Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Writer's Moment: Following Those 'Story Rivers'

A Writer's Moment: Following Those 'Story Rivers': “To understand and reconnect with our stories, the stories of the ancestors, is to build our identities.    We all belon...

Following Those 'Story Rivers'

“To understand and reconnect with our stories, the stories of the ancestors, is to build our identities.   We all belong to an ancient identity. Stories are the rivers that take us there.” – Frank Delaney

 

Born on Ireland on this date in 1942, Delaney was noted for his attention to the basics and to the basis of writing and writing style.  A novelist, journalist and broadcaster (he died in 2017) Delaney authored the best-selling novel Ireland and the award-winning non-fiction book Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea.

A great essayist, his writings were published in many of the leading newspapers in the United States, the UK and Ireland, including on the Op-ed pages of The New York Times.  He also was a frequent public speaker and a contributor and guest on a variety of National Public Radio programs. 
 

Delaney said that writers always should read their works aloud before finalizing them.  "If you need proof of how the oral relates to the written, consider that many great novelists, including Joyce and Hemingway, never submitted a piece of work without first reading it aloud."



 When asked who he would emulate and why, he said Fitzgerald.   '”The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald remains the most perfect novel that has ever come out of the United States. Everything in the book moves as it should, in the manner of a piece by Bach or Mozart.
 

 

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

A Writer's Moment: 'I Want Them To Believe Me'

A Writer's Moment: 'I Want Them To Believe Me':   “I use the language I use to my friends. They wouldn't believe me if I used some high-flown literary language. I want them to believe ...

'I Want Them To Believe Me'

 “I use the language I use to my friends. They wouldn't believe me if I used some high-flown literary language. I want them to believe me.” – Adrian Mitchell

Born in London on this date in 1932, Mitchell was a poet, novelist, playwright and one-time journalist who was a leading voice in Britain’s anti-bomb movement.  During his lifetime (he died in 2008), his poems on nuclear war, Vietnam and racism were so well known that they were often read and sung at demonstrations and rallies. For Saturday’s Poem here (from the International Poetry Archives) is Mitchell’s,

 

                HUMAN BEINGS

 

                look at your hands
    your beautiful useful hands
                you’re not an ape
            you’re not a parrot
    you’re not a slow loris
        or a smart missile
            you’re human

            not british
        not american
            not israeli
    not palestinian
        you’re human

            not catholic
    not protestant
        not muslim
            not hindu
    you’re human

    we all start human
        we end up human
            human first
                human last
            we’re human
        or we’re nothing

    nothing but bombs
        and poison gas
    nothing but guns
        and torturers
    nothing but slaves
    of Greed and War
    if we’re not human

                    look at your body
    with its amazing systems
    of nerve-wires and blood canals
        think about your mind
    which can think about itself
        and the whole universe
            look at your face
    which can freeze into horror
            or melt into love
        look at all that life
            all that beauty
            you’re human
        they are human
        we are human
    let’s try to be human

            dance!

 

 

 

 

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Friday, October 23, 2020

A Writer's Moment: Letting The Words Fall

A Writer's Moment: Letting The Words Fall:   “Sometimes things just fall out of your head on the paper, and if you're smart, you learn not to touch them.” – Laurie Halse Anderson...

Letting The Words Fall

 “Sometimes things just fall out of your head on the paper, and if you're smart, you learn not to touch them.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

 

Born in upstate New York on this date in 1961, Anderson is winner of the 2010 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association (for her contribution to young adult literature).  And she is a finalist for the 2021 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, sponsored by World Literature Today.   The NSK Prize is the most prestigious international children’s literary award given in the United States.

 

A graduate of Georgetown University, Anderson began her writing career as a freelance journalist for The Philadelphia Inquirer while simultaneously working on children's and young adult novels.  After minor successes for several children’s books, she published (in 1999) her award winning YA novel Speak – about a young girl’s trauma dealing with a rape.   The book, also made into a movie, is now out in 16 languages worldwide. 

To date, Anderson has written 10 YA novels, 2 graphic novels, and 16 children’ books.  Her latest is this year’s graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

 

“If I can write a book that will help the world make a little more sense to a teen,” she said, “then that's why I was put on the planet.”

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Writer's Moment: 'It's What You Produce That Matters'

A Writer's Moment: 'It's What You Produce That Matters':   Nellie Bly not only was one of the nation’s most famous 19 th Century writers but also an adventurer extraordinaire.   I’ve long been fas...