If I were teaching a writing course, instead of spending hours lecturing to my students I’d force them to watch the movie Lincoln. As a more experienced writer trying to improve, I’d go watch that movie and pay attention. Continue reading →
The book I’m trying to finish refuses to cooperate. Some sections at the end drag, no matter what I do. This weekend I devised a strategy that helped. It might work for you, too. Continue reading →
When you write a nonfiction book containing many facts and descriptions of other people’s theories along with your own experiences, you just about have to tackle the project in phases. You write it, then you rewrite it, you check your facts, you rewrite again, then you edit. After all that, you send it to “final readers” who mock your use of passive verbs and goofy sentence constructions. Based on that, you rewrite again. Then you get someone else to edit it for grammar and typos that you miss because you’ve been staring at the same words for so many months. After that, you start sending copies to people for blurbs and reviews.
The book I’m working on now, Revenge of the Pond Scum, is such a book. Continue reading →
If you haven’t seen the final Harry Potter movie, don’t read on.
I just spent a pleasant hour on the phone recording an interview with Maureen Anderson, host of “The Career Clinic” radio show. We talked about writing, publishing, and passive verbs. Continue reading →
Late May frogs sing with amorous enthusiasm not too far across the park. Red wing blackbirds whistle near the pond; the meadowlark must be in the half-grown ash tree outside my window. The roar of traffic on the highway a half mile away isn’t unpleasant at this distance; just a quiet chorus humming in the background, augmented this particular instant by the louder and deeper bass of an airplane lumbering toward the clouds. It’s warm enough, finally, not to need a jacket. Continue reading →
by Kenn Amdahl
The Dying Buffalo
The tired old head of the dying buffalo
Lay in pooled moonlight near the corner of the zoo pen.
His cheek-bone hard against the dirt, like an Indian, listening,
Each ragged breath blew clouds of dust
From red, infected nostrils;
Pus and blood oozed from his open mouth
And flies attacked his eyes.
The ancient gods gave one small gift:
The night-guard had a girl with him,
And wine, and plans; the office lights were dim…
The old one would have peace enough to die. Continue reading →
Some people monetize their blogs by letting people “subscribe” to them on their Kindle or whatever. Others sell advertising. I decided to just collect sixty or so blogs into a little E-book and sell that on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for 99 cents. It should “go live” sometime this weekend. Continue reading →
We used to know what a book was. It was words on paper, bound together into a primitive manually-operated reading device. We easily comprehended the components: copyrightable content plus the delivery mechanism. These days, our simple definition blurs. Is a “book” merely the content? Or is an “e-book” also a thing in and of itself, just like the paper version it replaces? Is it both the memory of the words and the ghost of the paper? What do I sell you when you buy my ebook? To paraphrase my own poem, does the poetry remain when the poem is removed? Continue reading →