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Swarm of crickets...

A figurative swarm. And only regarding the chirps... With each successive query, I believe my query letter becomes more and more irresistible. Until finally this last query I was convinced my selected agent would read it and immediately praise the gods of story-making for dropping MEATFUL THINGS in his virtual lap. And the agent in question would immediately hit REPLY with a "YES I need to represent this novel that is PERFECTLY-MATCHED-TO-MY-SENSIBILITIES, HALLELUJAH!" Alas, two month and two weeks later, crickets... From the webpage of the agent: "Please only query one of us. And please don’t call us to follow up. We try our best to reply to all queries, and of course we always respond if w

Book Review of TOMATOLAND

TOMATOLAND / Barry Estabrook Synopsis – Published in 2011, gardener and food writer Barry Estabrook presents a heartbreaking expose of the tomato niche of modern American industrial agriculture. From the the poisoning of the land and its harvest to modern day migrant slavery, this book is a magnifying glass on the implementation effects of the "corporation are people" philosophy, and the repercussions of libertarian economics. Greed rules, and the end result is a tasteless (in every sense of the word) perversion of what a tomato should be. Reaction – I love tomatoes. And the title "TOMATOLAND" and the photo of the world's (presumably) most perfect fruit are what initially drew me to this boo

Book Review of For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls / Ernest Hemingway Synopsis – A weary band of Spanish Civil War guerillas camp in a cave in the mountains and plan to blow up a bridge. The expected flashbacks, squabbles, betrayals, reconciliations, and hooking-up ensue. Until the day they actually blow up the bridge. Reaction – As this is a long novel about war, it took a while for me to become invested in the characters. But I plowed through, and am glad I did. I now have a full-blown "war novel" on my "have read" list. In the printing I read, seems the expletive "fucking" was replaced with "mucking." The word "obscenity" was used as an obscenity, and somehow "milk" was also. "Whore" was (comically) left alone, tho

Bell Diving

Confession. I haven't read For Whom the Bell Tolls. It wasn't assigned to me in high school or in college, and I never had a real interest in cracking the cover. Not my genre. But when I saw it was left behind in the shed by the previous owners of my trailer, I moved it inside to my bookshelf. And there it has sat for the last five years. But now I think the book gods were trying to tell me something. It's time for some rounding out. I'll read it quickly, as I don't linger on war-themed books. A week from now I'll review it on this blog.

Adult Literacy

As a pre-literate child, I imagined that writing as a form of communication was a ruse, and that adults just pretended written words were meaningful. Mercifully and quickly I grew out of that foolish notion and became a voracious reader. When I learned some children don't learn to read, and grow into adults who are illiterate, I was incredulous. How does one live in a reading culture without knowing how to read?? Though I don't live near a school which facilitates teaching adults to read, I can encourage other readers to help promote adult literacy (in the USA) for those who are ready to learn. Other ways to promote literacy? Read to children; they're great at imitating. And reading is a fou

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