Category Archives: Miscellany

Short Saturday: May You Live in Interesting Times!

One looks for the good, I think. So recently some of us have been repeating that old saw, May you live in interesting times. A Chinese curse, we’re told. Or a blessing. May you live in interesting times. But … it’s not Chinese. :) I know, I know, I’m a wet blanket about these things—but […]

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Short Saturday: The Rest of the Story

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about a college football star who got a lot of media attention when he was invited to join a book group. It’s a lovely human interest story that I won’t repeat here because you can read it from the link. Additionally, I want to give […]

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#WordUse Series:
On Stationery. And Guilds. And Vocabulary Words.

Stationery is an old-fashioned word. Or maybe I just think it’s old-fashioned because I learned it a long time ago and I don’t see it used much any more, given our electronic culture. But no, my fave dictionary lists it as having appeared in 1688—which is old enough, but its etymology is stationer, which we’re told by the same […]

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Short Saturday: Fiction = Medicine

Well, well, well. At last (or at least, in 2013). Some smart folks at the University of Gothenburg ran a little study about women on sick leave reading fiction, according to Science Daily. The study shows that the reading relates to an outer, concrete reality and to an inner, more subjectively perceived experience. At a […]

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Personal Archeology: I Remember It Well

Have you ever bought a used book and found something interesting inside? I don’t mean the inscription inside the front cover (another post for another time) … I mean the ephemera. (Merriam Webster: “Paper items [such as posters, broadsides, or tickets] that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.”) […]

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You Have to Learn to Pace Yourself … Pressure!*

Not long ago one of my authors—I consider her a friend too—gave me a partial glimpse of her to-do list: editing one book for publisher A, writing proposals for new fiction that hasn’t been contracted yet, writing the marketing synopsis for the [not-quite-finished] novella coming out with publisher B this fall, getting ready to launch […]

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Short Saturday: Your Children’s Intellectual Life at Stake

You’ve heard me say this before: I grew up in a home filled with books and magazines, music and musical instruments. I have known from my youth that exposure to this made a huge difference in my intellectual life. (That I cared about having an intellectual life at all I owe to my parents too.) […]

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Don’t Blog for Me, Argentina

You may have noticed I’ve been offering less original writing these last six months. On Thursdays you’ve been getting extracts, gleaned from my own reading on the writing craft. I transcribe them myself. This was spurred by my very busy year (personally and professionally) … and by an email. Some months ago one of my […]

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The Book As Gift

My parents always had a huge built-in bookcase wherever they lived (my father built them). They were primarily filled with the novels my mother had accumulated in her youth and all sorts of books my folks acquired as a young married couple, including museum exhibition catalogues, college texts, art books (my mother’s major), history books […]

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Or You Can Be Grateful; The Story You Write, You Live*

I’ve been blogging for more than five years now. Today seemed like a good day to repeat an article I ran on my first Thanksgiving … Most of us labor in obscurity of one type or another. Let’s face it, that star-maker machinery has moved on its rattle-trap tracks right on past. (Thank God.) And […]

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