A Writer's Moment: 'Writing, Publishing - two separate things' : “I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing i...
A Writer's Moment: 'Companions in One's Life' : “Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past w...
A Writer's Moment: Learning Through Experience : “The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is...
A Writer's Moment: Making Reading Fun : “Kids enjoy laughing and are seldom bored when they find something funny. They also ask questi...
“I envy those writers who outline their novels, who know where they’re going, but I find writing is a process of discovery.” – Jay McIner...
“I think a lot of people can write poems that are howls of anguish. I think I've probably written such things and th...
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
“I arise full of eagerness and energy, knowing well what achievement lies ahead of me.” – Zane Grey
Best known for his novels of the Old West, Grey idealized the American frontier and wrote some 9 million words in his lifetime. His 1912 best-seller Riders of the Purple Sage was the highlight of an amazing 90 books in the genre, many adapted into films and television productions. Overall, his novels and short stories have been made into 112 films, 2 television episodes and the series, The Zane Grey Theater.
Born on this date in 1872, Grey grew up in Zanesville, Ohio, a city founded by his maternal great-grandfather Ebenezer Zane, an American Revolutionary War patriot. From an early age he was intrigued by history and even though he first chose dentistry as a career, he gravitated to writing.
Grey struggled to get his work published and actually self-published his first novel. Harper & Row, his publisher of choice, consistently rejected his work, including “Riders.” But Grey wrangled an audience with a senior vice president, made an impassioned plea and got the book accepted. The rest, as they say, is history – both literally and figuratively.
Besides his Westerns, he wrote 2 hunting books, 6 children’s books, 3 baseball books, and 8 fishing books. His total book sales – which made him a millionaire many times over – have been over 40 million (and still counting).
A star baseball player in college and as a minor leaguer and a frequent brawler as a young man, his writing depicting both athleticism and fistfights were often cited by readers when talking about the "realism" in his books.
“Well, what is writing,” he responded, “but an expression of my own life?”
Monday, January 30, 2023
“It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails. He who has a sun in himself won’t seek for it somewhere else.” – Romain Rolland
Born on this date in 1866, Rolland was
a French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1915 "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and
to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types
of human beings.”
He advocated for making the theater accessible to all and often expressed frustration with those he was trying to convince that this was a good idea. “Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth but already to possess it,” he once noted.
His friend Sigmund Freud said he was profoundly influenced by Rolland’s views, especially on mysticism. Freud also was a great admirer of Rolland’s 10-volume novel Jean-Christophe, written over an 8-year period.
“The main thing is not to accumulate as much knowledge as possible, but to make sure that this knowledge is the child of your own efforts,” Rolland said. “Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepares the way for the faith of tomorrow.”
Saturday, January 28, 2023
“The fate of poetry is to fall in love with the world.” – Derek Walcott
Born in January, 1930, Walcott authored two dozen books of poetry, 25 plays and several novels and earned the Nobel Prize in Literature for his efforts. He also was a MacArthur genius grant recipient and winner of the coveted T.S. Elliot Prize in Poetry. Here for Saturday’s Poem is Walcott’s,
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Friday, January 27, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
“Negative feedback is better that none,” Prather responded. “I would rather have a man hate me than overlook me. As long as he hates me I figure I must’ve made a difference.”
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Monday, January 23, 2023
“The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.” – Derek Walcott
Born in Saint Lucia on this date in 1930, Walcott was the 1992 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Also the recipient of the Obie Award for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain (he wrote 20 plays) and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, Walcott died in 2017.
Walcott taught for many years in England and earned the T. S. Eliot Prize for his remarkable book of poetry White Egrets. He once noted about his poetic writing, “If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's just going to be average.”
His poems are not. For powerful and poignant reads, check out “A City’s Death by Fire” or “A Far Cry From Africa.”
Saturday, January 21, 2023
brings all possible experience to the same degree: a degree in the
consciousness beyond which the consciousness itself cannot go.”
– Laura Riding
A champion of free verse and feted as one of the world’s leading poets in the 1920s and 1930s, Riding was born in January 1901. Also a critic, essayist, novelist and short story writer, she was well known for speaking out against Fascism and Nazism. Her poems remain among those most studied and reviewed around the world, published in a dozen languages.
For Saturday’s Poem, here is Riding’s,
Yes and No
Across a continent imaginary
Because it cannot be discovered now
Upon this fully apprehended planet—
No more applicants considered,
Ran an animal unzoological,
Without a fate, without a fact,
Its private history intact
Against the travesty
Of an anatomy.
Not visible not invisible,
Removed by dayless night,
Did it ever fly its ground
Out of fancy into light,
Into space to replace
Its unwritable decease?
Ah, the minutes twinkle in and out
And in and out come and go
One by one, none by none,
What we know, what we don't know.
Friday, January 20, 2023
"When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature." -- Ernest Hemingway
Thursday, January 19, 2023
of language and the poetic uses of words. He once noted, “I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty."
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Milne, born on Jan. 18, 1882 achieved that immortality by creating Winnie-the-Pooh and dozens of Pooh's sayings that will live on forever. While Winnie-the-Pooh is his legacy, Milne was productive in many genres, writing two dozen plays, hundreds of essays, and novels, short stories and poems.
Monday, January 16, 2023
Saturday, January 14, 2023
“Inspiration is always a surprising visitor.” – John O’Donohue
Born on this date in 1956, O’Donohue was an Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher, who died in 2008. An much sought-after speaker and teacher, particularly in the United States, O'Donohue left the priesthood in 2000 and devoted much of his energies to environmental activism. One of his most-quoted sayings was: “I would love to live like a river flows. Carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”
A book of his essays, The Four Elements, published in 2011, provides an in-depth look at his beliefs and ideals. “The way you look at things,” he said, “is the most powerful force in shaping your life.” For Saturday’s Poem, here is O’Donohue’s,
Your Soul Knows
Your soul knows
the geography of
your destiny. Your
soul alone has the
map of your future,
therefore you can
side of yourself. If
you do, it will
take you where you
need to go, but
it will teach you a
kindness of rhythm
in your journey.
Friday, January 13, 2023
Wednesday, January 11, 2023