Category Archives: fiction

A Sample of Beachey Head

A Sample of Beachey Head This is just a portion of Beachey Head, written by Charlotte Smith and read by Ghizela Rowe. Beachey Head is an amazing word portrait, you can almost picture the chalky bluff at Beachey Head and … Continue reading

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A Dead Parrot and a Lumberjack

The Parrot Sketch MR. PRALINE John Cleese SHOP OWNER Michael Palin A customer enters a pet shop. Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint. (The owner does not respond.) Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, Miss? Owner: What do you mean … Continue reading

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We Are All Locked in The Greenhouse

This sign used to hang in one of the many greenhouses on the U.C. Davis campus. I like its chatty, humorous tone, something rarely seen when needing help. It also reminds me of Kafka’s The Castle, in which a driven … Continue reading

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A Book Contract Example

This is the contract a national guidebook publisher uses who has over 100 titles in print. It’s the contract I signed with the publisher with whom I am no longer doing business with (internal link) The publisher originally offered me … Continue reading

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Try Another Translation

If you are tackling Tolstoy, Proust or Kafka, find a translation that reads well for you. I failed twice to read War and Peace before I realized what was happening. At a large used book store I got to browse … Continue reading

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The Peroration Was Magnificent, Though Difficult to Remember

He looked into his heart and saw that it was black. Perhaps that’s all we need to know about Heart of Darkness. But there is so much more. Ideas and thoughts first judged rambling come back as well structured sentences … Continue reading

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Is Writer’s Block Limited to Fiction? And What Can be Done About it?

“Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to … Continue reading

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Shall We Dance?

The word “shall” has always baffled me. Much like steam locomotives or the theory of relativity, the word shall seems fated to confound. But I admire complexity for complexity’s sake, much as I admire the gleaming brass of the steam … Continue reading

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The Bible According to Quentin Tarantino

Director Tarantio is known for reimagining many things, perhaps most famously for his reimagined ending of World War II in Inglorious Basterds. But I like the most what he did with the Bible in Pulp Fiction. In that film, the … Continue reading

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And a Glenlivet To Go

A rainy night in San Francisco, the kind of persisting rain that paints the streets even blacker. Puddles everywhere along Clement Street, the “New Chinatown” as the San Francisco Chronicle called it. Although Chinese lived and worked on the street, … Continue reading

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