Monthly Archives: February 2013

Last Chance, Tweetsters …

Today’s the last day for your chance to win a Starbucks’ gift certificate or, better by far, a free copy of Trout Kill. The details:

1. The Challenge: In 140 characters or less, critique Paul’s novel Trout Kill. The “Best” critique, as chosen by the author, yours truly, wins.

2. The contest is open to all who have read, or who will read by the end of February, Trout Kill.

3. All entries are due by February 28, 2013. Entries must be submitted by commenting on this blog post. The winning contestant will get a reply from me by March 2, and receive a copy of Trout Kill, signed and personalized, OR a fifteen-dollar gift card to Starbucks. I may post submissions on Facebook (to prime the pump), and the winner forfeits all rights to his/her entry. (I may use it for marketing purposes.)

4. The winning entry will be posted in my blog, on my website and/or Facebook.

Book Talk

Yesterday, my wife and I drove south to Canby, Oregon, and I gave a reading from the Prologue of Trout Kill at the high school. It went great, and I really enjoyed the whole experience. I began by talking about my history as a writer, and then talked in general terms about the book. The reading lasted about twenty minutes, and then we spent about forty-five minutes discussing the book. Most of the attendees had already read it, so their questions were insightful and challenging. This is the part I enjoyed the most. One question was about Eddy’s Vietnam experiences. In the story, he narrates two incidents that involve water buffaloes, and my purpose in writing these was to humanize Eddy, in that he was compassionate toward and protective of the buffalo. Perhaps these two war-time incidents will help the reader better understand how Eddy can fall in love with a deer.Image

Quote of the Day: “A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann

An Audience of Teachers

I began teaching at Canby High School in Canby, Oregon, in 1978, and for the largest part of my career I taught nearly every subject in the Language Arts Department, from basic freshmen English to Advanced Placement English. I retired from teaching full time in 2006, but I still occasionally substitute at CHS, and I enjoy it immensely–so darn much less essay grading, test making, attendance taking, parent conferencing and hair pulling! Today, I’m giving a reading from my novel at CHS, and the audience, I believe, will be comprised mainly of teachers, many of whom are my friends, and all of whom I deeply respect and consider as colleagues. During my years of teaching, I often dreamed of becoming a writer of novels, but I never once dreamed I’d be reading one of them at CHS. I think it’s safe to say that, for me, the happy reality of today’s reading transcends the scope of my old dreams. Maybe it’s time for new dreams.

Quote of the Day: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” Elbert Hubbard

Village Gathering

A great big SHOUT OUT! to those who attended my reading yesterday at our home in Multnomah Village. It was a great success … the proper amount of wine, beer, great food and great people. The warmest hug goes to Deb, my wife, for helping with the food and set-up. Could not have pulled it off without you, Sweetie! And as for the rest of you, I love each and every one of you: Kelly J., Ricardo C., Louis and Judy H., Scott, Valerie G. and Ryan (Good luck with your agent, Valerie!), Cap’n Ron and Vicki and Rich, Gayle and Rod, Mick K., Carole I., Carole H., Steve and Lynn and Christine, Sharon, Jane and Patrice S. Special hugs to Patrice, Ricardo and Mick, whose strong support of me has been so confidence-instilling!

My next reading is at Canby High School tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Rm. 415 at 3:00pm. Hope to see you there!

Birthday dinner for guess who: The fine looking lady, that’s who! Happy Birthday, Deb! That handsome young man–no, not him, the other one–is Sam, Deb’s son. Photo by Leah, Deb’s daughter. A fantastic Korean-themed dinner prepared by Leah!

Here they are again, the rules for entering the “Tweet” Contest for Trout Kill. So far, several folks have said they’re going to enter. Good luck, everyone!

1. The Challenge: In 140 characters or less, critique Paul’s novel Trout Kill. The “Best” critique, as chosen by the author, yours truly, wins.

2. The contest is open to all who have read, or who will read by the end of February, Trout Kill.

3. All entries are due by February 28, 2013. Entries must be submitted by commenting on this blog post. The winning contestant will get a reply from me by March 2, and receive a copy of Trout Kill, signed and personalized, OR a fifteen-dollar gift card to Starbucks. I may post submissions on Facebook (to prime the pump), and the winner forfeits all rights to his/her entry. (I may use it for marketing purposes.)

4. The winning entry will be posted in my blog, on my website and/or Facebook.

Quote of the Day: “If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.” ~Don Marquis

A Valentine’s “Tweet”!

I must confess: I have no Twitter account. But in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m passing on a little twitter-like love. The contest I mentioned in yesterday’s blog works like this:

1. The Challenge: In 140 characters or less, critique Paul’s novel Trout Kill. The “Best” critique, as chosen by the author, yours truly, wins.

2. The contest is open to all who have read, or who will read by the end of February, Trout Kill.

3. All entries are due by February 28, 2013. Entries must be submitted by commenting on this blog post. The winning contestant will get a reply from me by March 2, and receive a copy of Trout Kill, signed and personalized, OR a fifteen-dollar gift card to Starbucks. I may post submissions on Facebook (to prime the pump), and the winner forfeits all rights to his/her entry. (I may use it for marketing purposes.)

4. The winning entry will be posted in my blog, on my website and/or Facebook.

Good luck to all who enter, and Happy Valentines Day!

Quote of the Day: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

Twittter Book Group

In yesterday’s blog post I told you about 1book140, a twitter-based book group with over 64,000 members. How would you critique Moby Dick, for example, using 140 characters or less? How about this: “One-legged obsessive-compulsive seeks retribution; has white-whale of a time; spermy kicks Pequod‘s ass; Ahab whaled upon; Ishmael saved by coffin.” So, you get the drift, right? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s contest: Trout Kill critique in 140 characters or less.

Quote of the Day: “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.” Truman Capote

64,483 Members

I’d love an invite to join your book group when you discuss Trout Kill, so please send me one if you’re so inclined. Find more about book groups at my website. If you belong to such a group, I’d guess your membership is under ten folks.

But have you heard of a book group with 64,483 members? That’s the claim made by Jeff Howe and 1book140, a Twitter book group. That’s right, Twitter! Read a book, then tweet your critique in 140 characters or less. What a concept! Here’s an example, as tweeted by Kay C–, and based on Neil Gaman’s graphic novel The Sandman (excerpted from May 20, 2012, NY Times Book Review): “Structure of Sandman ser like a Dickens novel, chars coming/going, sprawling plot, serial but a whole.” [“Ser” is shorthand for “serial.”]

So, what do you think of this idea? More later.

Quote of the Day: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth

Last Night in NYC

Image

No, this is not me mourning my last night in NYC. It’s me–rendered by my beautiful wife Debra on her iPad–as I catnapped after an exhausting day getting lost on subways and battling the freezing temperatures. And Italian food makes me sleepy. In Trout Kill, Eddy gets very little sleep, which may affect his decision-making skills, if “skills” is the right term. When was the last time you made a big decision while exhausted?

Quote of the Day: “Writing is both masking and revealing.” — E. B. White