If Grammar Could Speak …

These are the kinds of things it would say:

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Thank you to my copy editor par excellence, Donna Verdier.


Photos from The Early Days

I’ve added five more photos from the earliest days of my almost two-year tenure in Laos.

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My first home in Laos: Chao Anou Hotel

In chapter 7 (Nice Town, Nice Guys) of HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos, I described where I spent my first night in country.

The Anou Hotel was that odd mixture of Vietnamese, Lao, and French commerce. It was named for the last king of the Lao Kingdom of Vientiane, not to be confused with other Lao kingdoms, Luang Prabang, Champassak, and Xieng Khouang. The Anou cost more than the Nong Khai dive we stayed at the night before ($3.60 vs. $1) and had fewer amenities: The cold water shower was down the hall, and despite the ceiling fan running at takeoff speed, my room was hot, stuffy, and noisy.

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Where Have I Been?

Damned if I can remember.

Shoved a full-flown memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam War — “HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos” — to the family and a few very close (tolerant) friends.

Finished a supernatural adventure novel called “The Mark of the Spider” and sent it out to beta readers last spring. Still awaiting feedback, so that’s not promising.

Rewriting a straight sci-fi called “PSNGR” — formerly “The Passenger”? — seemingly forever. Instead of tackling chapter 28 today, I’m doing this.

I first wrote PSNGR as a long short story; then as a graphic novel when I had a comic book publisher willing to take a look at it. Now trying to finish it as a potential indie publishing project.

Bailed on my writer’s group for personal reasons having nothing to do with the calibre of their kind feedback.

Journeys, which is what this writing process was intended to be, can be tortuous. Witness The Odyssey. Which is not to say my journey has been nearly as exciting, or even interesting.

And the point is …

But I digress from my intent today, which is to point out links to two stories that struck my fancy.

Ten Books that Were Written on a Bet — From the terse Dr. Seuss to the loquacious James Fennimore Cooper and C.S. Lewis, I’ll be dipping into this list in future.

Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors — So … what’s the point?

Bottom line