Month: September 2013

The Many Faces of a Writer

Last Sunday, I watched the “In Memoriam” segment of the Emmy’s telecast. Sitting quietly, watching as the faces of many actors and actresses whose work I’ve known faded in and out, I wondered how many of the characters they had played on-screen had resembled, in ways big or small, their own personalities? How many times had a story line reflected their real-life choices and experiences? During the montage, the face that stood out to me the most was Larry Hagman, who brilliantly played J. R. Ewing in both the original Dallas, and the reboot. Was he anything like that greedy, corrupt, unprincipled character that he seamlessly portrayed? According to every piece I’ve ever read about him, he was not. But there must have been something in him that understood J. R., the man; or, at least, someth...

Writing: The Importance of Word Choice in Translation

For those of you who are fans of Star Trek (or, like me, grew up with a brother who loved all things science fiction), have you ever fantasized about having communication tools like the ones Captain Kirk and his crew had? I have, and I find myself doing it all the more lately. Why? Social media. Daily, the Internet provides readers and writers with the opportunity to connect with new people involved in the book world, and to interact with speakers of many different languages. While I firmly believe that diversity of people, in every possible way, is one of the two greatest strengths the human race collectively possesses (the other is love), I do find diversity challenging when it comes to language. This is not because I can’t learn to speak another language; I can and do. The reason is bec...

A Writer’s Joy: Meeting a New Fan

Even as an adult I sometimes feel as if I am back in high school. Usually, this is a good feeling (I loved high school), if a little bit bizarre, considering that I’ve long since left my school days behind and moved into the working world. But, as I’ve come to understand, life is a series of overlapping cycles, of beginnings and endings, and what’s old is often new again. For example, deciding to write professionally, choosing Novelist as my new career category, was a decision that came upon me slowly. I loved my adventures in the business world and had planned a long and healthy future turning simple ideas into tangible products and services. As I suspect most of us have experienced, even the most carefully plotted plans have a tendency to be uprooted when stormy weather sets in. For me, ...

The Summer of Curveballs

It’s…September? I keep looking at the calendar to confirm that the summer is really over. I guess the gentle fall of the first leaves, the shorter days, and the perfect weather (by D.C. standards) should be proof enough, but neither my eyes nor my mind wants to believe it. Where did summer go? I ask myself as I sit at my desk, my fingers aching from a lack of keyboard exercise. The best analogy I can think of for the place in which I find myself is this: Have you ever carefully plotted a novel, analyzed the characters, the settings, the conflict and resolution, only to find, when your fingers hit the keys, that the characters had other ideas? And what had been a great idea for a new story had morphed – at lightning speed –  into something you had never considered as the right path to creat...

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