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Category Archives: books

Ten Books That Have Stuck with Me Off the Top of My Head as I Make Them Up

1. Teddy’s Skin by Margaret Wise Brown—The peculiar recurrence of furry animals and fur-lined rooms in Brown’s work becomes apparent in this little-known and strangely horrifying entry in the author’s whimsical oeuvre. Uncommonly, Brown is a character in her own children’s book, having been made by the Color Kittens when they mixed together “all the […]

Novel

I only need to write my epilogue, and then I’m done with the first draft of my book Share this:

Hilaretic: Now Available at Quimby’s

Still available at Lulu.com! Share this:

All Aboot Canadian English, Eh?

A friend at work just passed this along to me. She worked as a designer in Toronto for a few years, and ended up toting it back to the states, where it remained wrapped in plastic until she thought, “I know! I’ll give it to the word nerd at work!” (She didn’t really say that.) […]

Crab’s Cradle

“But there was more to it than just coping with such traumatic situations. In later life, despite being hailed by so many as an American genius, Vonnegut felt that the literary establishment never took him seriously. They interpreted his simplistic style, love of science fiction and Midwestern values as being beneath serious study.” Never minding […]

Captain Prolix

Mike: So, are you going to finish that novel? Me: Yes, eventually. Mike: Well, how much is left? Where are you at? Me: Chapter 20 of Section 2. Mike: (Gapes) Really? Me: Wait a second. (I leave and return with the print-out of Section 1) Here it is. Mike: That’s it? Me: No, that’s just […]

I Have a Book

Way back in the ‘oughts, I wrote a series of articles for the Chicago Journal that were, for lack of a better term, “church reviews.” I’d visit local places of worship during services and evaluate them according to entertainment value, sanctity, and whatever else occurred to me. At the same time I’d do a little […]

Readers Without Borders

For many years I avoided buying books at Borders’ web site for the very reasons you’re probably thinking right now: they were overpriced and their stock was curiously limited. While I made regular browsing and buying visits to stores around Chicago (my son’s library was nicely padded out by their expansive children’s section), I dreaded […]

“Good”

Sturgeon’s Law states that 90 percent of everything is crap. Kelly’s Corollary adds that 99 percent of that remaining 10 percent is simply good. In art, good is largely preferable to bad—save in the case of something being “so bad it’s good”… but that’s another matter. Good is enjoyable, intelligent, savory, and consistently acceptable, and […]

Introduction for My Soon-to-Be “Published” E-Book Hilaretic

Let me know if this reads well. Well, I’ll Be Damned By Dan Kelly I knew I’d grow up to be a writer. It never occurred to me I’d be a church reviewer. Heck, I didn’t even come up with the concept. Brett McNeil, former Chicago Journal editor did. A decade ago, as Brett mentions […]