Tag: Novel

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. More

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Direction by Steven Spielberg More

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Last month, our theme was “Novel,” and we had many excellent entries on things that were new, patents, and book-length fiction. We had the scheduled items and a few bonuses. Here’s our round-up: November 01 Richard Easton—Sputnik 2 60th Anniversary More

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There may be as many ways to write a novel as there are novels. Some are entered into carefully by the author, with a tightly-interlocking plot or set of sub-plots developed before the first word of the text is written. In others, the author has nothing more than a vague notion or an opening line […]

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Interviewer: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is A.N. Other-Look, welcoming you to another fascinating episode of Is That My Book? Tonight, we have a special treat for you. Breaking her decades-long silence on the subject, Ms L.M. Montgomery is with us tonight to share her thoughts about the most recent adaptation of her book, Anne […]

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A novel is like a violin bow; the box which gives off the sounds is the soul of the reader. –Stendahl More

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OK, I’m playing fast and loose with Group Writing’s November “Novel” theme. It’s my birthday and I can be ornery (or cry) if I want to. Tell you what: this aging experience does daily enhance a “novel” perspective of life. I remember oldsters shaking their fingers at us when we were kids as they admonished […]

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When did you, as young adult, realize that the modifier “young” was no longer applicable? For me and some of my former fraternity brothers it was when we noticed that we were no longer as hot to get the newest gadget, see the newest movie, catch the newest band as we had been in college. […]

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Oh, Brave New World! The Novel World of Big Data.

 

Last week @claire posed the question “What does Facebook know about us?” It is a worthy question, and one not easily answered. Facebook certainly can automatically glean a number of facts about us, but as her post demonstrates, that does not translate necessarily well into knowing us. Why else would she constantly receive ads for products in which she clearly has no interest? Ours is a brave new world of massive data gathering and data mining, where our personal profiles, in any form, are traded much as one would once have traded baseball cards. Yet for all its ubiquitous reach, this is still new, it is still novel, and it is still buggy, as I will relate below.

I have some direct experience as a customer of Google’s Ad Words program, though this experience is now somewhat dated. Six years ago I enrolled my company as a buyer of Google advertising. The program is fairly simple:

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National novel writing month, and I’ve finally decided to try and get one hammered out. I’ve got several thousand words written, but that’s nowhere near what I should have done by this point. I’ve had a lot of practice with not writing novels. Back in high school, I’d planned out a series of three books. […]

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Novels and Reality: Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote

 

As far as genres go, the novel is a relatively young one. Poetry and drama stretch back to antiquity and beyond, but what is widely considered to be the first novel didn’t arrive on the scene until the Renaissance was starting to draw to its close. This is Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes’ monumental work in both the Spanish and English literary traditions.

Published around the same time that Shakespeare was writing his last plays in England, its importance is not due merely to chronology. You’ll find no shortage of praise for the novel or insight about Cervantes’ influence as the grandfather of the modern novel. Milan Kundera stated, “The novelist need answer to no one but Cervantes,” and Lionel Trilling mused, “It can be said that all prose fiction is a variation on the theme of Don Quixote.” One of these many themes is the nature of the relationship between fiction and reality, the limits between their likeness, and how we relate to the fiction we read. The novel is, at its core, a story about stories.

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How do you innovate? I know that we have more than a few geniuses on Ricochet and a passel of inventors, but you don’t have to be a genius to come up with something new. What is your method for innovation? s it just a matter of seeing a need and filling it? Is it […]

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I Don’t Do Novels

 

I write professionally. I have over twenty published books and nearly one thousand pieces printed in magazines, newspapers and online sites (counting only online stuff I have been paid to write). I can write fiction. I even have perhaps four short stories published. I think my fiction is not half-bad. (Read The Cards and tell me if you agree.) But I do not write novels. All my published books are non-fiction. All my planned books are non-fiction.

It is not that I am opposed to writing novels. I have the outline of three series of novels drafted. Not three novels – three novel series. (A set of mysteries set in East Texas, a series about an Age of Fighting Sail naval officer, a la Horatio Hornblower or Jack Aubrey, and a series rooted in Arthurian legend – ending in 1940.) Plot outlines, lists of characters, scenes.

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Today is the release of Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson’s latest novel in The Stormlight Archive. Since Amazon won’t be delivering my copy until (much) later in the day*, I have some time to write about what makes a Sanderson novel so novel and why he has become one of my favorite authors. But first, a bit […]

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Quote of the Day: Old Love Letters

 

Dear Jon,

The great love I have hitherto expressed to you
Is false, and I find my indifference toward you
increases daily. The more I hear from you, the more
you appear in my eyes an object of contempt.
I feel myself in every way disposed and determined,
to hate you. Believe me, I never had any intention
to give you my hand. Our last conversation has
left a tedious insipidity, it has by no means
given me a most exalted idea of your character
Your temper makes me extremely unhappy
and if you and I were united, I would experience nothing but
the hatred of my parents added to the everlasting dis-
pleasure in living with you. I have a heart
to bestow, but I do not desire you to imagine it
at your disposal. I could not give it to anyone more
inconsistent and capricious than yourself, or less
capable to do honor to my choice and family.
Yes – I hope that you will be persuaded that
I speak sincerely and you will do me a favor
to avoid me. I shall excuse your taking the trouble
to answer this. Your letters are always full of
impertinence, and you have not a shadow of
wit and good sense. Adieu, adieu, believe me
so adverse to you that it is impossible for me ever
to be your humble and affectionate servant.

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I’ve found a “new” show to fill the void that waiting week-to-week for Poldark has left: The White Queen. This show was suggested to me by several websites for people looking for period dramas. As it was available on Amazon Prime, I started watching it. This is a somewhat incomplete review as I still have […]

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In Group Writing, Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with a bit of accountability and topical guidance to encourage writing for its own sake. Haven’t participated in Group Writing yet? We’d love for […]

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter More

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