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I’m a writer who blogs about writing, reading, teaching, research, publishing, marketing, and more.


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  • The F Words: Libraries

    Libraries have played an important part in the development of my sense of justice and my social consciousness. In my teens I used to read books by Black authors of the Harlem Renaissance: writers like Langston Hughes,  Claude McKay, James Weldon Johnson, and Countee Cullen.  Nobody assigned me these books. Nobody told me about them. […]

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  • My Writing Life: 4

    Eventually I gave up my day job, knowing it would mean a decline in income, but an increase in opportunity to write and sell what I wrote. During my first three months of self-employment, I had grave concerns about my decision — mainly because I had said yes to a gigantic editing job for a […]

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  • The F Words: The Gift of Fire

    After the 5,000-year-old body of the Iceman (later named Otzi) was discovered preserved in a glacier in the Alps in 1991, scientists began examining  everything they could about this person — in order to better understand the past and its importance to the present. Among the many things they discovered about the Iceman was this: […]

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  • My Writing Life: 3

    When I first decided to try writing full-time, I attended many writers conferences so that I could learn about the writing business and various publishers. One piece of advice every established writer gave — advice that is still given today — was this: Don’t quit your day job. This is good advice for the simple […]

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  • The F Words: Bilingualism

    Not counting the US, approximately 65-75% of the world’s population is bilingual. In the US in 1980 only 10% of the population was bilingual. Today that number has risen to 20%, possibly to 25%, primarily through immigrants, largely Spanish-speaking. Many different cultures have positive proverbs about knowing more than one language. An old Persian proverb […]

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  • My Writing Life: 2

    After that initial short story I wrote in high school, my next foray into fiction came about fifteen years later, when I decided to start writing novels. I had plenty of plots in mind and just needed to decide which one to start with. At the time I was working as a typesetter for the […]

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