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Thursday, October 21, 2021

A Writer's Moment: 'Those Hundreds of Days'

A Writer's Moment: 'Those Hundreds of Days': “Completing any writing project, particularly a novel, is a daunting prospect. Many people become frozen by the prospect...

'Those Hundreds of Days'

“Completing any writing project, particularly a novel, is a daunting prospect. Many people become frozen by the prospect. Others keep waiting for the right time. Some wait for the spark of inspiration. Even experienced writers find it is easier to do anything other than actually write. – Bob Mayer 

  
Mayer, born in New York on Oct. 21, 1959,  is prolific author who has had 70-plus novels in multiple genres, selling more than 4 million books, including Area 51, Atlantis, and The Green Berets, all #1 series.   And, when I say “multiple genres,” that includes Romance where he holds the distinction of being the only male author on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll.
A former Green Beret and graduate of West Point,              
Mayer’s writing encompasses both his military experience and his fascination for history, legends and mythology.  And, collaborating with Romance writer Jennifer Cruise, he did a series of military-themed romance novels starting with - Don’t Look Down and the New York Times number one bestseller Agnes and the Hitman.

While getting the work done hasn’t seemed to be a problem for Mayer, he notes that for most writers it can and is a long process.  “A one-hundred-thousand-word novel might take a year or several years, and then you just come to 'The End' one day,” he wrote.  “But it takes hundreds of days to get to 'The End.' As a writer, you have to be ready to put in those hundreds of days.”


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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Writer's Moment: ‘A Right We Should All Fight For’

A Writer's Moment: ‘A Right We Should All Fight For’: “Free and fair access to books - to reading - is a right and one we should all fight for.” – Kate Mosse A n English novelist, non-ficti...

‘A Right We Should All Fight For’

“Free and fair access to books - to reading - is a right and one we should all fight for.” – Kate Mosse


An English novelist, non-fiction and short story writer and broadcaster, Mosse (born on Oct. 20, 1961) is best known for her novel Labyrinth, which has been translated into more than 37 languages.   Mosse first got involved in the writing world as a publishing assistant, then editor and journalist before switching over to managing a regional theater.  It was while serving in that role that she began writing creatively and came out with Labyrinth.

Although best known for her adventure and ghost fiction, usually inspired by real history, Mosse's non-fiction, particularly Becoming A Mother and The House: Behind the Scenes at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, also have been best sellers and television specials.

 
Kate Mosse

“Usually I decide on what it is I'm writing next by the books I'm reading,” she said.  A champion for the free library system, she has done many fund-raisers and written on their behalf.
 

“The message is clear: libraries matter,” she said.  “Their solid presence at the heart of our towns sends the proud signal that everyone - whoever they are, whatever their educational background, whatever their age or their needs - is welcome.”

 

 

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Monday, October 18, 2021

A Writer's Moment: 'Having Your Own Distinct Sound'

A Writer's Moment: 'Having Your Own Distinct Sound': I just believe that young people need to be able to learn how to write in their own voice. Just like a musician, you pr...

'Having Your Own Distinct Sound'

I just believe that young people need to be able to learn how to write in their own voice. Just like a musician, you pride yourself on having your own distinct sound.” – Terry McMillan

 

Born on this date in 1951, McMillan grew up in Michigan and earned a degree in English from UC-Berkeley before starting her writing career in her late 30s.  After modest success, she had a major breakthrough with her best-seller Waiting to Exhale, credited with contributing to a shift in Black popular cultural consciousness and the visibility of a female Black middle-class identity in popular culture.  

And while she drew on her own experiences for part of that book, it was the 1998 semi-autobiographical novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back that firmly cemented her writing as a force to be reckoned with.

 

Her work is characterized by relatable female protagonists, and she says all of them reflect a part of herself, something she thinks all writers have incorporated into their work.  “Few writers are willing to admit (that) writing is autobiographical, but it mostly is.”

 

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Writer's Moment: 'Real Poetry Is Not Easy'

A Writer's Moment: 'Real Poetry Is Not Easy': “Poetry is not easy. Or should I say, real poetry is not easy.” – Robert Pinsky Pinsky, a Boston University prof tu...

'Real Poetry Is Not Easy'

“Poetry is not easy. Or should I say, real poetry is not easy.” – Robert Pinsky

Pinsky, a Boston University prof turning 81 on Oct. 20, is a poet, essayist, literary critic and translator.  The former Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, he has authored 19 books, mostly poetry inspired by the flow and tension of jazz and the excitement that it made him feel. As a former saxophonist, he said being a musician was a profoundly influential experience he tried to reproduce in his poems.

 

“I don't like to have a calm, orderly, quiet place to work.”  He said his book, The Sounds of Poetry, A Brief Guide, was written almost entirely in airplanes and airport departure lounges.   For Saturday’s Poem, here is Pinsky’s,

 

Samurai Song

 

When I had no roof I made
Audacity my roof. When I had
No supper my eyes dined.

When I had no eyes I listened.
When I had no ears I thought.
When I had no thought I waited.

When I had no father I made
Care my father. When I had
No mother I embraced order.

When I had no friend I made
Quiet my friend. When I had no
Enemy I opposed my body.

When I had no temple I made
My voice my temple. I have
No priest, my tongue is my choir.

When I have no means fortune
Is my means. When I have
Nothing, death will be my fortune.

 

Need is my tactic, detachment
Is my strategy. When I had
No lover I courted my sleep.


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Friday, October 15, 2021

A Writer's Moment: It’s A Balancing Act

A Writer's Moment: It’s A Balancing Act:   “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings After I took this photo on a trek into the Rocky Mountai...

It’s A Balancing Act

 

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings

After I took this photo on a trek into the Rocky Mountains this e.e. cummings quote just seemed apropos as a “descriptive” phrase.  
 
Cummings, born Oct. 14, 1894, wrote some 2,900 poems, 2 autobiographical novels, 4 plays and several essays.
  
Some of his poems are free verse (with no concern for rhyme or meter), but many have a recognizable sonnet structure of 14 lines, with an intricate rhyme scheme. A number of his poems feature a typographically exuberant style, with words, parts of words, or punctuation symbols scattered across the page, and needing to be read aloud in order to clarify his meanings and emotions.  Also a painter, Cummings understood the importance of presentation, and used typography to "paint a picture" with some of his poems.
  
While he was not without controversy in his life and 
political leanings (he was a staunch supporter of 
Joseph McCarthy, for example), there’s little doubt 
that he is remembered as an eminent voice of 20th century literature.
 
 

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