Safety First: Adventures in Research

From the Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday 18 October, 1950, “Bomb Head Find”. Workers in Nottingham discovered an unexploded WWII bomb, one fitting neighborhood recollections as having failed to go off during an air-raid. The workers winched it up, and putting the question to the test, extracted material from the head, then touched a match to […]

Friends, Please Stop By and Meet Torsade!

  Lots of great changes on my site, formerly Stephanie’s Blog. Little surprises (good ones!) hidden behind pics, and lots of good reading! My posts are a showcase for whatever writing I’m interested in, and rough-drafting at the time—and for my artwork. My pages are where I put polished work, collected in proper reading order, and […]

The Grand Old Party: Adventures in Research

(Original post dated October 17. 2014) From the NYT September 29, 1880 “Grand Rally at Warren” General Ulysses S. Grant, a man of many scandals, was no longer President of the U.S. as of March, 1877, but continued as a party campaigner. On behalf of Republican candidate James A. Garfield, he gave a speech in Warren, Ohio. […]

Friends, Please Stop By and meet Torsade!

  Lots of great changes on my site, formerly Stephanie’s Blog. Little surprises (good ones!) hidden behind pics, and lots of good reading! My posts are a showcase for whatever writing I’m interested in, and rough-drafting at the time—and for my artwork. My pages are where I put polished work, collected in proper reading order, and […]

A Book Report from the Zero Income Front

  My impression is that, when the average browsing consumer considers the self-published novel, quality is not her concern. By this I mean the question of whether she expects to find quality. We might (it’s been done) correlate types of publishing to shopping venues—take brick and mortar stores as the equivalent of traditional presses and […]

The Insular I: a poem’s point of view

  The Insular I   People don’t like poetry. That, of course, is not universally true. True enough, a lot of poetry you read (or glance over) launches like the voice of someone you’re stuck with in an elevator. I write poetry, and I too get that twisty feeling when I’m afraid of being trapped […]

My Curious Reading: Character Logic

  Let’s begin by splitting a hair. E. M. Forster, in Aspects of the Novel (Harcourt, 1927), gives his seventh lecture on the theme of Prophecy. He introduces a metaphor: “song” to represent the voice of the prophet; “the furniture of common sense”, to represent verisimilitude. Towards the end of the this section, Forster says, […]

Billions: the domestic cat as scapegoat

    A 2013 Telegraph (UK) headline, based on US reporting, read in part:   …deadly pets murder nearly 4 billion birds a year.     Cats, they meant. Now, for one thing, murder is an inflammatory word. By the same token, human beings murder thousands of chickens every year…except that we employ low paid […]

My Curious Reading: Planet Earth and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker

  Dr. Underhill said, if we would destroy insects, we must preserve birds. Birds which run up the trunks of trees, like the Woodpeckers, are of especial benefit. They dig out the larvae of insects from the bark and devour it. A Cat-bird would destroy a hundred caterpillars in a day. Where birds, even Crows, […]

My Curious Reading: The Baron and the Bulge

  Dialogue must be the most powerful type of writing. Most of us, I think, leafing through a book, see dialogue sequences as welcome action; we get from these a little pleased anticipation. Things are picking up. It doesn’t take that form of narrative known as the historical present to make dialogue function as real-time. […]