Magazine article Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing tips

Happy Thanksgiving!

In America we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday which means just that. Time to be thankful for all things great and small. I’m thankful to have been published three times this year in Rock&Gem magazine. Right now I’m working on two more articles for them, again on speculation (internal link). This will keep me busy while waiting word on my book proposals.

Do you have a hobby or interest compelling enough to write about? I’d encourage you to research magazines in your field. Even if you have to write on spec, even if the pay is only an honorarium, query an editor to gauge interest in your subject.

Not an expert? Don’t worry. Find the right market and write from the viewpoint of an enthusiastic newcomer. Show doubts and questions and how you will resolve them with dedicated learning and research. Again, enthusiasm always helps.

Working up a long article will get you endlessly editing and researching and securing photographs and doing everything a good writer should. Writing credits are good for the ego and resume building. Most importantly, it keeps you about your work. Something to be thankful for.




Thoughts on writing Uncategorized

Blogging at Another Website

I’m adding industry news to a site I developed (external link) to support my book proposal on Nevada agriculture.

My original thought was that would be a simple site, just a skeleton to show a perspective co-author (internal link) or publisher that a website would accompany my title. But perhaps can do more, perhaps it can draw in potential readers.

To attract more eyeballs I’m going to blog once a week or so on current Nevada agriculture news. You can see the current post here (external link). This will be part of the promotion every publisher expects an author to do. Now, if only I could find a co-writer or a publisher.


Stanton Delaplane Uncategorized

More From Stanton Delaplane

Dog walking in New York City. Stanton Deplane’s (internal link) spritely writing brings it alive. This gentle humorist won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting and worked for the San Francisco Chronicle for over fifty years. I think his writing on animals were his best work. The late 1950’s was a time when in much of America, dogs roamed without a leash.


February 26, 1959

These are the in-between days in New York. Not quite the end of winter, not quite the beginning of spring.

“I don’t really know what to do with Stonehenge,” said the lady in front of my hotel. “He simply can’t stand Florida.”

Stonehenge, it turned out, is a bored-looking poodle. Like other dogs in the Elegant Eighties East, he wears a simple silver collar and a short Jacket. He looks at the passing traffic through half-closed eyes. A good deal like a banker surveying the usual menu at the University club.

His Jacket is plaid. Authentic Stuart Hunting tartan. He is a dog with money.

We are staying at the posh Stanhope Hotel. Fifth avenue at 81st street. The doorman knew me by name within half an hour after I registered.

He wears a plum-colored topcoat with a flash of red waistcoat beneath. This is not a gaudy neighborhood. But between the plaid jacketed dogs and the red-breasted doormen, we have our moments of color.

This is an aristocratic neighborhood. Across from the gray, bare, wintered trees of Central Park. Across from the imposing Metropolitan Museum of Art. If we wish to refresh our culture, we can walk across the street and look at the high class mummies in the Egyptian section.

“Stonehenge,” said the lady, “really prefers New York.” Stonehenge sat quietly at the end of his morocco leash. He nodded briefly to a passing pair of dachshunds and snubbed a young cocker.

Down at 493 First avenue, we have a guest house for dogs who prefer New York. Who cannot stand Florida.

It is called the Courtyard. It is run by Mr. Henry J. Lindner Jr. of New Orleans — possibly the first man to come to New York and realize a smart dog’s feelings in such matters.

“City dogs,” said Mr. Lindner, “prefer to walk on a leash. They prefer to have someone walk with them. Some like to walk on grass, whereas others would rather walk on a terrace.

“We try to determine their desires and provide what they wish.”

For rich animals like Stonehenge, Lindner provides a city home while the rest of the family goes to Miami.

Reservations are required, naturally. (Just as they are at my hotel. We must keep up the barriers.)

A dog lodging with Lindner— “we don’t like to call it a boarding house”—are assured of quality company.

Elizabeth Arden’s German Shepherd, King, is a regular visitor.

So is Dorothy Parker’s miniature poodle, Cliche. The register has names of most of the elite of New York City dogs. And a dog can simply drop in—with proper credentials. Just drop in, have a steam bath and freshen up for the evening. Or simply lunch on a low-calorie lean beef dish, so popular that Lindner is thinking of packing it for the retail market.

The upper East Side dog, being an apartment hotel animal, is generally small. Just big enough to fit under the TV set.

They are walked in the brisk mornings by uniformed hotel help. The more citified dogs walk the sidewalks along the apartment houses. A few venturesome beasts heel-and-toe it across the street in Central Park.

They all wear Jackets in this chill weather. But they are rather plain in the way of collars.

“I never let Stonehenge wear his ruby collar until after six in the evening,” said the lady. “Only a thin silver chain during the day.”

Stonehenge lifted one eyelid and looked at me. When he saw I had neither a plum-colored topcoat nor red waistcoat, he dropped it again and his lip came up in a genteel sneer.

Unknown artist. Not a part of the original column.


Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing tips

Point of View

“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here – not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”

― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

Every writer should acknowledge their point of view. Refusing to admit bias or preference brands a writer as elitist and out-of-touch. While not every article or essay may be controversial, owing an explanation to the reader, a writer should identify opinions as their own whenever necessary. Or write in a style that leaves no doubt.

And, if you are going to be honest with controversy, you might as well go all the way. When Thompson was sent to cover the Kentucky Derby horse race he didn’t innocuously title his essay, instead he labeled it with the same ferocity as his writing: The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.

A few years later Rolling Stone had him cover another race, the 1972 presidential election. He wrote like this: “Hubert Humphrey is a treacherous, gutless old ward-heeler who should be put in a goddamn bottle and sent out with the Japanese current.”As Klingon Commander Kor in an old Star Trek episode once remarked, “Good, honest hatred. Very refreshing.”



Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing tips

More on Deleting Commas

Adding or deleting commas is a good way to vary your writing. I’ve written on this before. (internal link)  First drafts have too many commas. Revise. Be aware, though, of any change in emphasis (see below). Remember, too, that despite our desire to add or remove a comma, the first responsibility of a sentence is to make sense.


Once in office, Trump can quickly alter his Supreme Court agenda.


Trump can quickly alter his Supreme Court agenda once in office.

Note the last word in the first sentence is agenda. And in the revised sentence the last word is office. You may elect to keep a comma if you think a particular word must be emphasized or used last.

More examples:

Later Sunday afternoon, demonstrators planned to assemble at Oakland’s Lake Merritt.

Demonstrators planned to assemble at Oakland’s Lake Merritt late Sunday afternoon.

In San Francisco, about 150 protesters congregated Saturday afternoon outside the Civic Center BART Station . . .

About 150 protesters in San Francisco congregated Saturday afternoon outside the Civic Center BART Station . . .

As participants assembled to march, a man walked by and jeered.

A man walked by and jeered as participants assembled to march.

Friday night in Oakland, about 100 people marching through downtown were monitored by police in riot gear.

About 100 people marching through downtown Oakland Friday night were monitored by police in riot gear.


Thoughts on writing Uncategorized

Another Literary Magazine Rejection

The creative nonfiction essay (internal link) I’ve been submitting to publishers has been rejected for a third time. I’ll keep trying. I’m not tailoring the piece to each magazine, consequently, it takes little effort to submit the work to another outlet.

Making this process tolerable is the website (external link), which makes it easy to submit and track entered pieces. Submittable seems to be the de facto processing mechanism for the literary magazine trade.

Also making submissions tolerable is that literary publishers actually send a rejection notice. That’s rare in the everyday nonfiction magazine world, where your carefully crafted article or proposal letter usually gets no response at all. With a rejection letter you at least know you can now submit your work or idea to another publisher, unless you don’t worry about multiple submissions to begin with.


Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing tips Accepting Submissions (external link) is a magazine portal and information hub. Its proprietors publish nine hardcopy magazines and the site itself features articles covering a vast swath of American and international history.

The site is now accepting short articles on almost any history subject. They’re not paying at this time, however, that shouldn’t stop you if you are interested in resume building and getting writing credits. In particular, I think a writing credit here should look good if you are trying to break into one of their magazines. Here’s how they put it:

Have something compelling to say? Looking to get published? Let us know! HistoryNet is the world’s largest history publisher and an ideal place for aspiring journalists and history enthusiasts to get published. With 2+ million monthly readers we are actively seeking new grassroots content contributors for a wide variety of topics and periods in history – anything from the ancient pyramids to the cold war. You could even become a regular contributor with your own contributor page! Email us at!

I queried them and received this additional information: is now accepting article and video content submissions.

Submissions can cover history, current events, news, and interviews with relevant subjects.

We encourage submitters to explore the historical or current events that interest them most.

Submissions are not limited to American and military history – rather, we encourage submissions from global perspectives and varied historical periods. Get creative!

HistoryNet takes pride in its unbiased, objective delivery of historical material as a means to educate and inspire. As such, we will not accept personal memoir, opinion pieces, or subjective personal narratives. Video submissions must be no longer than 20 minutes.

Text submissions should be: around 500-1000 words Double-space, type-written and a title that is both eye-catching and factual.

500 to 1000  words shouldn’t take you long to write, even with well done research. Although you are not paid, submitting an article could be well worth your time.

My brother was published in their Wild West Magazine last year and he reports they treated him well. Perhaps you should get to know this publishing house if you have an ardent bent for history.

Thoughts on writing Uncategorized

Musings on Book Proposals

On Saturday I went to my favorite used bookstore in Las Vegas, Amber Unicorn Books.(external link) As always, the same thought kept coming back to me as I looked over their heavily discounted book section: what publisher could have possibly approved these titles? How did these religious screeds, doubtful economic tracts, and tepid historical romances find a home? I know about Grumpy Cat. But is he really popular enough to merit a book series?

Right now I have two book proposals outstanding. Two book ideas I feel strongly should merit as much consideration as “the sacred aspects of indigenous, historical psychotropic and herbal healing beers of the world,” or “the time-honored traditions of Asian pickling.” I don’t mean to demean other authors. But it is easy to get discouraged when you see other ideas succeed while yours fail.

Years ago I saw the title below in a used book store. A few months later I saw another copy. This book has gone on to a second edition, and, if the cover art can be believed, now has a million copies in print. It seems there is a market for anything. Perhaps, then, two more?



Sorry about all the e-mails

Please disregard the previous blog post invitations sent today. I am trying to make a private post in WP for the first time without success. I do think I have a method to make one, however, in doing so a post notification goes out each time to all of my followers. Again, apologies.


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