Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Author Bruce Dodson Answers 20 Questions

Today’s author interview is with Bruce Dodson, author of Lost in Seattle, You Never Know, and various articles and short stories.

Bruce Louis Dodson is an expat living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, 2 dogs and a cat. He is a collagist, photographer and writer of fiction and poetry.

His work has appeared in: Barely South Review -Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology , Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review(IN), 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books – Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad – Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves(AU), Pirene’s Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology – Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac, Litro Magazine,  mgversion2>datura, Maintenant 11, Glassworks, Door Is A Jar, So It Goes-Kurt Vonnegut Museum, and Popshot.

Welcome, Bruce.

1  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m basically a poet, an expat living in Sweden for the last five years. I’m a five-star introvert who turned eighty this year, a fact I’m reluctant to admit. There’s a bias that talent recedes with age, and there may be grains of truth in that. Major publishers have little interest in authors my age. The good part of this is getting to a point of not caring, a certain sense of freedom, an expanded poetic license, an uncaring for rejections. Strangely enough, I have had more acceptance in these last years than ever before.

2  When and what made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I always dabbled, the usual things, high school newspapers and such and High Times magazine. Five years of college removed time for creative writing. I was a design major. I remember submitting a horribly amateur fiction piece to Playboy magazine in the mid-fifties and was pleased to receive a nice printed rejection slip from the editors.

I did not take writing seriously until San Francisco in the sixties when my work began to be published in the S.F. Bay Guardian I met poet Charles Plymell in San Francisco during the sixties. He is probably the person most responsible for my efforts.

After college, I spent three years in the regular Army. Eighteen months were spent in Asmara, Eritrea. I don’t remember writing anything while in the service. There was too much going on. I fell in love with Africa and was hell-bent on experience, absorbing all I could of it. A gathering of tongue. Much of my work has connection to my travels.

After the Army, I was living in San Francisco in the Haight. This was the mid-1960s. I had just turned thirty and was writing some. I got lucky with a series about riding on the 7 Haight bus. It was picked up by the San Francisco Bay Area Guardian, a large, small newspaper at that time. The story ran for five weeks and drew a lot of attention. I wrote a few poems and began submitting to lit mags. Submitting was a stone drag in those days. Mailed submits with self-addressed stamped envelopes which were not always returned—tedious. Computers opened a door for me. Writing was faster with no need for white out, ribbons and paper. Submissions go so much faster now. There are still, “Did not responds,” but without the cost of time, envelopes and stamps.

I started writing more in the seventies, my first book in the mid-eighties.

3. Can you tell us something about the genre of your books and why you write in that genre?

I think my books could be called creative non-fiction, all but one which remains unfinished.

4. Where do you get your ideas from?

I have always loved to travel and did as much as I could, going as far as I could. I have never held a permanent job. I worked contracts that lasted from nine months to a bit over a year. The pay was good gave months of free time were wonderful. I’ve traveled to Brazil, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Lebanon Italy and much of Europe.

5. Are you working on a new book at the moment?

I’m working on two, new, old books that have been years in process. One is a Coming of Age theme, the other, my magnum opus, takes place in India, a thousand years ago. Sometimes I think I’ll never finish it—perhaps when I’m older.

I have recently re-written two 8,000 word stories I had filed with Amazon but withdrew and revised. You Never Know, is about a fortune teller in Brazil. Hope Takes a Holliday follows an energetic and clever old lady woman with Alzheimer’s who escapes a care facility.  Both of these stories based on experience.   

6. Which writers inspire you?

Cormac McCarthy for his absolute brilliance. Charles Bukowski for his ability to get your attention in a hurry. Somerset Maugham for the beauty of his prose.

7. What book are you reading at present?

I’ve been going through short stories in a stack of old Paris Reviews. Last book was Good Sweden Bad Sweden, by Paul Rapacioli — Very interesting, and relevant.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Comments Off on Author Bruce Dodson Answers 20 Questions

Filed under Authors, Books, Genre, Non-Fiction

Looking for Authors to Interview

I hope those who read this blog post today will share with all your author friends.

I am looking for authors to interview in order to help them promote their books.

If you are interested, please contact me at cyannris at gmail dot com.

8 Comments

Filed under Action Adventure, Animation, Authors, Autobiography, Biography, Body, Books, Children's Books, Christian Romance, Comedy, Coming of Age, Cookbooks, Crime Fiction, Dark Fantasy Romance, e-books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational, Memoir, Military, Mind, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Age, Non-Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Picture Books, poetry, Religious, Romance, Romantic Suspense, science fiction, Self-Help, Spirit, Suspense, Thriller, Travel, Urban Fantasy/Horror, Western, Writing, Young Adult

Having a tracheal tube never stopped her…

Recently, I presented at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, Kansas, on Clementine Paddleford.

At the end of the presentation, I answered questions.  Most of the questions I have been asked before.  But, one question got me to thinking…”Why don’t you focus more on the fact that Paddleford had a tracheal tube and how hard it must have been for her to do her job with it?”

I do mention in my presentation that Paddleford had throat cancer and elected for a partial surgery so that she could continue to talk with a tracheal tube.  I also talk about how hard of time she had re-learning to talk and getting used to the tube.  It took her a year with many trips back and forth to the hospital and dealing with pain.  The tube was held in place with a velvet ribbon.

Paddleford, herself, stated that because of the raspy whisper of her voice caused by the tracheal tube “people remember me.”  She also said that the only things she couldn’t do, that she liked to do, was to play tennis and go swimming.  Because of the tracheal tube she could not go on lecture circuit, the radio, or television.  These are some reasons, she is largely forgotten about today.  Otherwise, the tracheal tube never got in her way of doing what she loved: being a journalist-food writer.  Paddleford traveled wherever she wanted to go, interviewed whomever she wanted to interview, wrote about them, turned in her receipts, and got paid.

So, who is Clementine Paddleford?  She is the best known food editor, you never heard of.

December 28, 1953, Time Magazine declared Clementine Paddleford, “the best known food editor in the U. S.”

Here is the program from the Wilder Society Tea where I presented.  They put together this booklet because they wanted to share the recipes of the food served at the tea with those in attendance.  Recipes are from Paddleford’s 1960 book How America Eats.

Note, if you decide to make these recipes, remember they are from 1948 to 1960, and they are not as sweet as desserts are today.  So, if you are looking to cut back on sugar, but still want a dessert, use one of the recipes below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Having a tracheal tube never stopped her…

Filed under Authors, Books, Cookbooks, Genre, Non-Fiction, Recipes

Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,” wrote Dylan Thomas.

Thomas’ poem was looked at in the PBS show “Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death” by Helen Whitney that aired on Monday, March 26, 2018.

This documentary allows us to think and even talk about mortality.   It does not provide us with any answers, instead, it raises many questions.

Do we go gently or raging against the dying light?

Are we in denial?

Do we think we will live forever?

Why do we try to prolong life?

Should we try to create immortality?

What do we say when someone tries to talk about death?

Are we prepared for death?

Would your family know how to access all your online accounts once you are gone?

Does your family know what your wishes are for funeral arrangements?

And so many more questions.  And of course, the biggest questions that no one has the answer to is: When am I going to die?

Even though this documentary is about death, it really showed me that is was also about LIFE.

 

 

Comments Off on Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Filed under Authors, family relationship, Genre, Non-Fiction

Is that a family name?

“What is your name?” someone asked me.

“Cynthia,” I replied.

“Is that a family name?” they asked.

Well, yes and no.

Yes, there is a Cynthia in my ancestral line, but I was not named after that “Cynthia.”

Several years ago, when I started doing family genealogy, I asked mom if I was named after a family ancestor.

“No,” she said.

“Where did you get the name, Cynthia, from,?” I asked.

Mom laughed and told me this story.

“When your Dad and I were at the grocery store, Mr. Stewart asked if we had a name picked out.  We didn’t, so he suggested that for a baby girl her name be Cynthia Ann, after his mother.”

Yes, my parents went shopping at a grocery store and came away with a name for a baby girl.

I know, I know!  People go shopping at a grocery store for many things, but a name is not usually one of them.

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, family relationship, Genre, Memoir, Non-Fiction, parenting, Writing

Ancestors

Recently, someone asked if I would ever write a historical novel using one of my ancestors.  I answered, yes, if I had any that were colorful.

If any of you do genealogy, then you know how frustrating it can be to do research on your ancestors.  If you are lucky enough to have had someone do the research for you, thank your lucky stars!

One of my great-grandfathers seems to have been born under that cabbage leaf you hear so much about.  Where I grew up when children asked where did babies come from they were told that babies were found under a cabbage leaf.

Yep, Jacob was born under a cabbage leaf.

There is no other explanation for it!

Ancestory.com has no birth record for Jacob.  None of the Census records show his parents’ name.  Nowhere have I found where he was born.

Here is what I know about my ancestor, Jacob.

  • He fought in the American Revolutionary War.
  • He deserted while a soldier in the American Revolutionary War for a Pennsylvania Regiment.  This was not uncommon, as many soldiers did.
  • When he deserted he was headed for Hagerstown, Maryland.
  • Her married, Jane, however, I cannot find a marriage record and have only been able to guess her last name, which is not a “fact.”
  • Jacob and Jane moved to Tennessee.
  • I have found their children’s names.
  • I found Jacob’s and Jane’s death dates.

As with any family, there are stories – which most I have found not to be true.

So, to go back to the beginning – would I write a novel about one of my ancestor…I guess if I ever did, I could always write a historical novel involving Jacob’s parents since I know absolutely nothing about them.  That way, I could really write a historical fiction novel and know for a solid fact that is was pure fiction.

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, family relationship, Fiction, Genre, Historical Fiction, Non-Fiction

Brief Timeline of Printing 1970-2011

This is a continuation of the Brief Timeline that began on January 26, 2018, that continued on February 2, 2018, and this is the last blog on the timeline of printing.

1970: Water-based ink introduced.

1972: Thermal printing developed.

1977: The Compugraphic EditWriter 7500 phototypesetter introduced.

1981: Microsoft Disk Operating System introduced.

1982: Adobe Systems Inc. founded.

1983: Desktop publishing appears.

1984: Apple Macintosh personal computer introduced.

1984: 3D printing developed.

1985: Microsoft Windows introduced.

1985: PostScript typesetting language introduced.

1985: Apple LaserWriter desktop printer introduced.

1985: PageMaker desktop publishing introduced.

1987: Soy-based ink appears.

1987: QuarkXPress desktop publishing program introduced.

1988: Adobe Photoshop raster graphics editor introduced.

1990: Xerox DocuTech. Production-publishing system that allowed paper documents to be scanned, electronically edited, and then printed on demand.

1991: TrueType scalable computer introduced.

1991: Heidelberg and Presstek introduced GTO-DI, the first plate making on the press.

1993: Indigo digital color printer introduced.

1993: Portable Document Format (PDF) introduced.

1996: OpenType scalable computer fonts introduced.

1999: InDesign desktop publishing program introduced.

2011: The Saint John’s Bible is the first completely handwritten and illustrated Bible since the invention of the printing press.

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Non-Fiction, Writing

An unexpected surprise

Has someone ever said to you, “I have bad news and I have good news?”

When this happens to me, I always say “give me the bad news first so I can end on the good news.”

This happened to me on Tuesday, November 7.

I was standing in the kitchen cooking supper when my husband came in and said, “I have some bad news and I have some good news.”

As usual, I said, “Give me the bad news first.”

“The bad news is we have puppies,” he said.

I promptly dropped the dish I was holding.

“What’s the good news,” I asked.

He answered, “We have puppies.”

How did that happen?

We adopted our dog six years ago and were told she was spayed.

This poor dog had been through enough.  She had been rescued from a puppy mill and she wasn’t even a pure breed dog.

Chloe had three (3) puppies.  Hubby had found one dead in the kennel, one puppy doing great, and a third puppy was struggling.

Now, Chloe likes being outside instead of being inside.  We tried over the years to keep her inside, but she wouldn’t have it.

We live on a farm and she is only loose when we are home.  And then, she is with us most of the time.  Otherwise, she has her own extremely large dog run and kennel area with plenty of shade, etc.

Because it is cold this time of year, we moved the truck out of the garage and moved Chloe and the two puppies inside.

At about 9:30 p.m., Chloe kicked the struggling pup out of the kennel.  Guess she knew something we humans didn’t know.

I took the puppy inside.  It was much smaller than the other pup. It really looked more the size of a newborn kitten than a newborn puppy.

All I had to feed the little thing was kitten formula.  Did I say, I was a cat person.

I sat with the puppy throughout the night, feeding it with an eyedropper.

About 5 a.m. on November 8, hubby came into the room where I had the puppy and told me to go get some rest and he would take over.

He got on the internet and found an article that said to keep the puppy with the momma.  Chloe wasn’t having it.  She continued to kick the little thing out of the kennel.

Needless to say, the puppy died about 10:30 a.m.

The puppy that was doing great is still going great.  It is now four (4) weeks old.  Its eyes are open and it scares itself when a loud bark comes out its mouth.

Here is our unexpected surprise. Two days old.

 

Age 3 weeks old.

 

Comments Off on An unexpected surprise

Filed under Non-Fiction, Writing

Holiday Book Magazine

Hop on over to my Page “Holiday Magazine” and see the information I need if you wish to have your book(s) listed in the 2017 Holiday Gift Magazine I will be sending to all my newsletter subscribers.

If you participate by having your book(s) in the magazine, I will give you a pdf file of the magazine to share with your newsletter subscribers.

This is a great way to promote your book(s) FREE of charge…well, you will need to spend a little bit of time getting me the information for the magazine then sending it out to your readers.

The more that participate the more circulation your books will have!

And, I will feature a book a day on this blog throughout the Holiday Season!

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Action Adventure, Animation, Authors, Autobiography, Biography, Body, book blitz, Book Fair, Books, Children's Books, Christian Romance, Christmas, Comedy, Coming of Age, Cookbooks, Crime Fiction, Dark Fantasy Romance, Fantasy, Fiction, Genre, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Holidays, Inspirational, Marketing, Memoir, Military, Mind, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Age, New Years, Non-Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Picture Books, poetry, Religious, Romance, Romantic Suspense, science fiction, Spirit, Suspense, Thanksgiving, Thriller, Travel, Urban Fantasy/Horror, Western, Young Adult

St. John’s Bible

I work in Special Collections at Kansas State University.  A few years ago, someone donated a set of St. John’s Bible for the department to share with the community.

Docents take these large Bibles out to the community to allow folks to look and touch them.

You can watch a short video with Donald Jackson, Calligrapher, about the St. John’s Bible here.

There are several videos on YouTube about the St. John’s Bible project.

“In the Beginning – Creating the Saint John’s Bible”

And if you have time to watch a longer video with Father Eric Hollas.

Eric Hollas, O. S. B.: Text and Pen: The Legacy of Biblical Art and The Saint John’s Bible

“Donald Jackson  and his team of scribes and artists have combined ancient calligraphic techniques with computer technology to create on calf-skin vellum the first hand-written and hand-illuminated bible commissioned in over 500 years.”

Learn more at Saint John’s Bible.

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Genre, Non-Fiction