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Friday, August 12, 2022

A Writer's Moment: Saluting 'The Reluctant Writer'

A Writer's Moment: Saluting 'The Reluctant Writer':   “One way an author dies a little each day is when his books go out of print.” – William Goldman Goldman, born in Illinois on this da...

Saluting 'The Reluctant Writer'

 

“One way an author dies a little each day is when his books go out of print.” – William Goldman

Goldman, born in Illinois on this date in 1931, wrote Academy Award-winning screenplays for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men, just two of many highly successful works that he either wrote, or for which he served as a consultant.

Goldman first came to prominence for his novels before turning to film. His most notable works were the thriller Marathon Man, the comedy-fantasy The Princess Bride – both of which he adapted into very successful films – and Tinsel, one of the first “insider” tales about the treatment of women in the movie-making industry.   He also wrote a number of mysteries, winning two Edgar Awards for his efforts.

Described by fellow author Sean Egan as "one of the 20th century’s most popular storytellers," Goldman grew up in Chicago, earned a writing degree from Oberlin College and started writing as a poet.                                                                                
While writing many of his other top selling works he did research on Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid for nearly 10 years and said it was one of his favorites.

Often referred to as “a reluctant writer,” Goldman, who died in 2018, said, “The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.   But this is life on earth, you can't have everything.”

 

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Writer's Moment: It's All About Observation

A Writer's Moment: It's All About Observation:   “To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” – Marilyn vos Savant Born this day in 1946, vos Savan...

It's All About Observation

 

“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.” – Marilyn vos Savant

Born this day in 1946, vos Savant is a magazine columnist, author, lecturer, and playwright.   Since 1986 she has written "Ask Marilyn," a Parade magazine Sunday column where she solves puzzles and answers questions on various subjects.  The record holder for the Guinness Book of Records highest IQ – a category retired by Guinness while she still held the title – she started writing about puzzles as a teenager and full time in her current role in her mid-30s after moving full time to New York city.  Since then she has written thousands of articles, essays, many books and her column for 35 years.

 Prior to starting “Ask Marilyn,” she wrote the Omni I.Q. Quiz Contest for Omni magazine, which included IQ quizzes and expositions on intelligence and its testing.

Married and divorced twice before age 35 (the first marriage at age 16), she now has been wed to Robert Jarvik, creator of the Jarvik artificial heart, since 1987 and has served as the Jarvik company’s chief financial officer since that time.

Author of the best-selling The Power of Logical Thinking: Easy Lessons in the Art of Reasoning…and Hard Facts about Its Absence in Our Lives, she offers the following advice when it comes to decision-making.  If your head tells you one thing, and your heart tells you another, before you do anything, you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart.”
 
 
 

 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Writer's Moment: 'An outsider passing through'

A Writer's Moment: 'An outsider passing through': “ I like the condition of being an outsider in writing, just passing through.” – Barry Unsworth   Unsworth was an English writer known f...

'An outsider passing through'

I like the condition of being an outsider in writing, just passing through.” – Barry Unsworth

 
Unsworth was an English writer known for his historical fiction. He published 17 novels, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize three times, winning once for Sacred Hunger. Born on this date in 1930, Unsworth did not start to write historical fiction until his sixth novel, Pascali's Island, the first of his Booker Prize nominees. 

While he told great yarns, he was sometimes criticized for taking "poetic license," but he said it was all about the story and not the actual history he was choosing for his focus.  “I’m not a biographer,” he said.  “I’m a novelist.”

One of his best was Sacred Hunger, a wrenching tale about the 1770s slave trade.  An equally dynamic sequel, The Quality of Mercy, was his last book, published shortly before his death in 2012.                                       .

“Writers of historical fiction are not under the same obligation as historians to find evidence for the statements they make,” Unsworth said.   “I believe, for us it is sufficient if what we say can't be disproved or shown to be false.”

 

 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2022