January/07/2021 03:16 PM
"We believe in conservatism; but it is a conservatism not of timidity, not of mere stolidity, it is the conservatism of good sense. We do not intend to be spurred into rash action or to be frightened out of action that is needed by the circumstances of the case." —Theodore Roosevelt, June 4, 1903, Indianapolis, Indiana—
Nobel Peace Prize Photo, 1906
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May/02/2015 09:29 PM
Celebrate the life and career of an extraordinary historical romance novelist:
Ana Leigh (October 19, 1929 - April 12, 2015)
I met Ana in the early nineties and had the opportunity to interview her three times for articles that appeared in several publications. I remember her wit and sense of humor, down-to-earth comments that may not have been intended for the public, but what struck me as remarkable was her ability to find a spark, a burning passion that enabled her to create stories for future generations.
When I asked what lessons we can learn from those who tamed the Old West, she answered more than my question. She explained why some succeed and others fail.
“I think one of the outstanding things about the West and the people who chose to help settle the West had to be their courage. Those were admirable qualities that perhaps we need a little bit more of in today’s world, to really believe in what you’re doing instead of going through the motions, to put your life on the line to do it. There’s not enough of that today. And I think that’s why we have so many problems in the world. We don’t learn how to really depend upon each other. Those Westerners, those early Westerners, had to depend upon one another for survival. Technology, of course, is a great thing, but at the same time it’s not good for people when they are so dependent upon their technology that they can’t function without it. We really are missing something. These early people who packed up what they could in a little tiny covered wagon lived with what they could take along until they got themselves settled. They will always be my heroes because without them we wouldn’t be the nation we are today.”
June/27/2014 04:08 PM
Motivation: The Creative Tunnel
Merely giving a writer the opportunity to create is not sufficient motivation to do so. Some believe money should not be used as a lure. This is a noble proposal, but even among those with incredible talent and no financial need, an accolade or a reward must exist at the end of the creative tunnel. An audience is necessary to bring the project to fruition, for without the praise and criticism of the public, the work remains unfinished. Acknowledgement of peers may not satisfy.
June/11/2014 10:43 AM
Sexism: Blatant and Insidious
Is sexist indoctrination clouding our vision? Merriam-Webster defines unfair treatment of people because of their sex, especially against women, in two ways:
1) Prejudice or discrimination based on sex.
2) Behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.
It is the second definition, a subtler manifestation, that is the greatest concern in contemporary America.
March/19/2014 01:25 PM
Erotica: Not Handcuffed to Romance
Is erotica an extension of the romance genre or a sexual interlude taken out of context? In the twenty-first century, a date, even a first date, may involve consensual sex, yet neither party is manipulated for physical submission or psychological domination.
Within the imaginary realm of fiction, an encounter can be showcased without a plot, allowed to flaunt an unusual fetish, an eccentric desire, or an extreme behavior.
This type of scene, by definition, is not romantic, nor is it a story.
January/28/2014 05:00 PM
Ghostwriters: A Spooky Crowd
Is it in an author’s best interest to “ghost” for money? Merriam-Webster provides several definitions for this closeted process:
1) To write for someone else using that person’s name.
2) To write for and in the name of another.
3) To write for another who is the presumed author.
A ghostwriter is not to be confused with a copywriter, who is generally affiliated with an agency or a business:
1) Someone whose job is to write the words for advertisements.
2) A writer of advertising or publicity copy.
Ghostwriting does not advance one’s career, but copywriting does.