Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To Repeat: A Writer Writes



There is no more loathsome, sorrow-inducing endeavor than attempting to write a novel, and write it well when one believes oneself to be an over-the-hill, pedestrian scribbler.

But I am still trying.

Perhaps persistence will triumph in (before) the end.

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."


Some (supposed) facts I will probably use in my novel:

The bolide arrived from the southeast, traveling at a low angle relative to the earth, so that it came in not so much from above as from the side, like a plane losing altitude. The thing in the sky is six miles wide.

A bolide is a large, brilliant meteor, especially one that explodes. A fireball.

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid crashed into the Yucatán Peninsula, leaving behind a crater 110 miles wide and twenty miles deep and a colossally larger hole in the tree of life. The impact and its after­effects wiped out an estimated 75 percent of species, including, most famously, all non-avian dinosaurs. The event, the end - Cretaceous extinction - is one of six massive die-offs in the history of the planet. Five of them happened in the distant past: 450 million, 375 million, 252 million, 200 million, and 66 million years ago.

The sixth one is happening right now.

The Sixth Extinction Examines Human Overkillers and the Next Great Die-Off by Kathryn Schulz

Another piece of wisdom (hopefully) for my novel:

"I find it extraordinarily irritating when people treat the bishops in the Lords, or the Church elsewhere, or the clergy in general, as moral experts. I think that is an outrageous thing to believe, but people still believe it automatically, without thinking. They think that these members of the Church, of any religion, have a special insight."
--Mary Warnock


Did You Know . . .?

After 5 years of continual rejection, Agatha Christie finally landed a publishing deal. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion.


Event In History

On this day in 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, was sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in.

Although African Americans Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and some 15 other African American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and hundreds of African Americans held local offices.



Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.



(born February 25, 1937)
Bob Schieffer is an American television journalist who has been with CBS News since 1969, serving 23 years as anchor on the Saturday edition of CBS Evening News from 1973 to 1996; chief Washington correspondent since 1982, moderator of the Sunday public affairs show Face the Nation since 1991. From March 2005 to August 31, 2006, Schieffer was interim weekday anchor of the CBS Evening News. As of 2011, he is one of the primary substitutes for Scott Pelley.

(born February 25, 1966)
Téa Leoni is an American actress. She has starred in a wide range of films including Jurassic Park III, The Family Man, Deep Impact, Fun with Dick and Jane, Flirting with Disaster, Spanglish, Bad Boys, Ghost Town and Tower Heist.

A Photo I Like Better

(Feb 25, 1913 - July 3, 1989)
Jim Backus was an American radio, television, film, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo, the rich Hubert Updike III on the radio version of The Alan Young Show, Joan Davis's character's husband (a domestic court judge) on TV's I Married Joan, James Dean's character's father in Rebel Without a Cause and Thurston Howell, III on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island. He also starred in his own show of one season, The Jim Backus Show, also known as Hot off the Wire.

(born February 25, 1976)
Rashida Jones is an American film and television actress, comic book author, screenwriter, and occasional singer. Jones is widely known for her role as Ann Perkins on NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation. She also played Louisa Fenn on Fox TV's Boston Public and was a recurring cast member who portrayed Karen Filippelli on The Office. She has had numerous film roles, including in Our Idiot Brother, The Social Network, The Muppets, and I Love You, Man. She co-wrote the screenplay for Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012), in which she starred.


Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.
--Marie Curie




  1. Analysis and research, yes. But even more important is emotion. Emotion is the main reason that I, too, have enjoyed reading a few novels by John Grisham.

    1. The process of injecting emotion into a scene eludes me. How is it done effectively without revealing that it is being done purposely? Active interplay between antagonistic

      characters? Man versus either brutal and savage or serene and beautiful Nature? Subjectively, a character struggling with his self and memories through stream-of-consciousness?

      So much to learn; so much to retain, and so much physical energy needed.

      Thank you, Anthony, for reminding me about the importance of emotion.