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In Vino Veritas

Now for something completely different. This may be relevant to writing only in that some writers are also wine drinkers.

A while back my husband and I went shopping for wine glasses. Nothing fancy. Just plain everyday wine glasses that would fit inside and withstand the dishwasher. We went to several retail stores – not high end, but the sort that sell cheap glasses in boxed sets.

We examined the inventory in three different stores, and couldn’t find wine glasses smaller than 12 or 16 ounces. I thought, that’s a lot of wine. We ended up finding the 8-ounce glasses we sought at a store that supplies caterers, who, apparently, are the only ones who care about pouring too much wine. Continue Reading »

It happened unintentionally. I followed a series of internet links that carried me into a blind alley. I was perusing social media on a Sunday morning and encountered a post about The Timberline Review. It’s a new literary journal, cooked up by Oregon writers, good people committed to fostering the art and craft of writing.

When I met the journal founders last summer I refrained from the question that loomed overhead, that dark discouraging cloud that rains on bright ideas. But I wondered, “Do we really need another literary journal?” I know the numbers. New journals flare like meteors and then die out after the seed money is spent and volunteers lose interest. Continue Reading »

I’m losing my interest in social media as it increasingly gravitates toward revenue-generating posts. Real voices and real people are harder to find. Linked-In seems like some bloated scroll of billboards, rather than the personal updates it once featured. Facebook has also moved toward advertising, granting the greatest presence to those who pay. Ever wondered why you’re seeing too much of one writer friend, and almost nothing from others?

Continue Reading »

Designer Jane Pellicciotto recently commented on “The Third-Person Bio Problem.”

She wasn’t referring to biographical books, but the short blurbs we post to our web sites for the purpose of self-promotion. Jane suggests that it’s pretentious. I had to wince because, yes, I’ve done it too. Continue Reading »

Why Writers Write

In the current issue of Poets and Writers. Michael Bourne offers an inventory of his own writing effort and its incumbent frustrations. In “Why We Write: Failure is an Option,” he asks a question I’ve long sought to answer: why do writers write when it can be such unsatisfying work? His answer: “I keep writing fiction because it isn’t easy, because it is the only discipline I care about that I will never truly master, no matter how long I work at it.” Continue Reading »

I’m a LinkedIn misfit. When I signed on eons ago it seemed a professional necessity. More recently I’ve gravitated to Facebook for the density of interesting posts. On Facebook people are snarky. They reveal their wit. They’re outspoken, often intelligent, and unafraid of judgment. Continue Reading »

I’m a social-media coward, disinclined to comment on controversial subjects. That said, I’m commenting on a well-known but seldom discussed underside of Oregon civility, a banal intolerance that could be amusing if it weren’t real. Continue Reading »