Monthly Archives: May 2016

271 Words

No greater example of efficiency and elegance in the English language exists than Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. At 271 words it takes only a minute to read and only slightly longer to speak. We cannot hope to be as gifted a wordsmith … Continue reading

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Does Word Processing Make us Better Writers?

I’m near completing a 3,000 word article. The stats are staggering. 172 revisions? To make clear, 172 is the number of  times a file was saved. There could be many, many edits done in between saves. I may have made 500 individual … Continue reading

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Lemons Into Lemonade

Last month I went out of town to research a field trip article for Rock&Gem magazine that I am writing on speculation. (internal link) My visit was to a BLM mineral collecting site some hours north of Las Vegas. Here’s the problem: … Continue reading

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Creative Writing Course Continues

Our Creative Nonfiction Workshop continues (internal link). This is the second week. The emphasis is on the personal essay; we are doing a great deal of writing on ourselves. I would never entertain such a topic outside of a class. … Continue reading

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My Creative Nonfiction Course Began Today

The Berkeley extension course I wrote about before (internal link) started today. It’s a writing course devoted to nonfiction. I think I’m going to like it. The interface used to assign work, provide grades, communicate with the teacher and so … Continue reading

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Rocky Mountain Radicals

My brother Bill has an article this issue in the prestigious Montana: The Magazine of Western History. (external link) Entitled Rocky Mountain Radicals, it traces the story of our family’s distant Uncle James Murray, a copper king who made his … Continue reading

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Understanding

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to understand something. This is the key, hidden problem for non-fiction writers. Let’s say you’re writing a story on how locks work. You may have five books on locks, current periodicals, and an interview … Continue reading

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