Wit and wisdom for wordsmiths

Bucket List #1: A Grub Street book-writing workshop

Day 22 of Blogathon 2013 Short post today. Do you have a Bucket List? I figure it’s time I got started on mine. First up is an all-day workshop called “How to plan, write and develop a book” at Grub Street  in Boston. In case you’re curious, here’s a link to the instructor’s blog describingContinue Reading

What’s the secret of writing funny? See Borowitz

Day 21 of Blogathon 2013 Before we begun, read this post from comedian Andy Borowitz . Go ahead, I’ll wait. For my money, not even Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart are as consistently on the mark and as consistently funny as Andy Borowitz. Apparently a lot of other people agree. His Twitter feed, @BorowitzReport, hasContinue Reading

Why writing about food is so much fun

Day 20 of Blogathon 2013 I admit it. I’m a foodie   (Which makes being on Weight Watchers a bit of a challenge, but that’s another story.) For foodies, food is fascination. Fun. Foodies aren’t as stuffy as epicures or gastronomes, and though we appreciate haute cuisine, a good juicy burger is terrific too. Foodies readContinue Reading

Film critic Roger Ebert, NOT on the movies

Day 19 of Blogathon 2013   Film critic Roger Ebert , it seems, gave thumbs up or down to much more than movies.  Take a look at Chaz’s Blog for some pithy examples. On journalism: When I entered the business in the autumn of my 16th year, newspapering seemed the most romantic and exciting thingContinue Reading

How LinkedIn found its mojo

Day 18 of Blogathon 2013 If you’ve checked into LinkedIn lately, you know the Home Page is offering a whole lot of new sparkle. There are invitations to read what “these thought leaders are saying.” This morning my suggestions were Bill Gates, Gretchen Rubin, Richard Branson and Guy Kawasaki. There are links to news stories.Continue Reading

John Hersey isn’t read much anymore. Here’s why he should be.

Day 17 of Blogathon 2013 On August 6, 1945, an American plane called the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb ever dropped on a city. A year later The New Yorker printed John Hersey’s  “Hiroshima,” in which Hersey described the cataclysm in the voices of six survivors. Hersey, who got the idea of focusingContinue Reading

It’s Bloomsday: time for writers to lie about reading “Ulysses”

Day 16 of Blogathon 2013 It’s unstructured. Chaotic. 783 pages in paperback. The author bragged that in its 250,000 words and 18 episodes, he had included “so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.” He was right.  But that  hasn’t stopped people from commemoratingContinue Reading

For one night In Taksim Square, words didn’t matter

Day 15 of Blogathon 2013   A short post today. We’re halfway through this year’s Blogathon! Yesterday an unknown 31-year-old German pianist named Davide Martello played  for 14 straight hours in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, while hundreds of protesters quietly listened. Martello , who built his piano himself, had pulled it on a trailer from hisContinue Reading

Name calling, revenge, and “first-degree blogging”

  Think today’s public debate is nastier than ever? Think again. When Thomas Jefferson ran for President, one newspaper predicted that if Jefferson won, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, andContinue Reading

Why writers need a “things I’m curious about” file

Day 13 of Blogathon 2013 On June 10, which would have been the 85th birthday of children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, Google had one of the best Google Doodles ever. There they were. Max sailing to the land of Where the Wild Things Are. The surreal cityscape of In the Night Kitchen. TheContinue Reading