May 2011

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Joe Haldeman, Travel Writer

Joe Haldeman, Travel Writer

Joe shares a reminiscence of a Hemingway-esque adventure he and his wife Gay experienced when they were just getting started. It was sparked by a recent news account. It was a shock to hear a news flash about a terrorist bomb detonated at “café Argana, which is located in Jamaa Lafna square in Marrakech,” which [...]

On Memorial Day

On Memorial Day

My Father, Toilet Paper, and Italian Opera By Eric Olsen Some of my earliest memories concern my father neatly folding toilet paper and tucking it into his shirt pocket before leaving the house. Also my father now and then breaking spontaneously into Italian, often at the dinner table, and sometimes even into snatches of Italian [...]

Books by Eric Olsen’s Bed

Eric writes, “I’m currently trying to outline an historical novel, and so by my bed right now are two excellent examples of the genre, Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End. Granted, they probably wouldn’t be considered literature by reviewers at the New York Times, but who cares? They’re great [...]

Stanley Elkin Video

Stanley Elkin Video

In a passage in We Wanted to Be Writers, Glenn Schaeffer says, “During my era at the Writers’ Workshop, the late Stanley Elkin, author of daring novels, happened to be a visiting professor. Now Elkin was a gentleman, except on the page or in the classroom; he suffered in his middle age from MS and [...]

A Book that Taught Don Wallace to Write

A Book that Taught Don Wallace to Write

This is the first post of a new weekly feature in which we review books—fiction, poetry, how-tos . . . all genres—that teach us something about writing. The Book: A Coffin For Dimitrios The Author: Eric Ambler The Movie: The Mask of Dimitrios (1945) dir. Jean Negulesco The Lessons: Pace, Setting, Character, Dialog, The Obvious [...]

Books by Gary Iorio’s Bed

Gary reports, “I just finished reading Summer Crossing by Steve Tesich. Interesting in that he was a Big Ten guy (Indiana) and of all things he wrote the screenplay to The World According to Garp and ‘Breaking Away.’ There were wrestlers in this novel so I wonder if John Irving had an influence on him. [...]

Sandra Cisneros Video

Sandra packs a lot into this short take on writing, authors who influenced her, and the importance of having a writing space. Shot at her home in San Antonio. Produced by Knopfgroup.

How Can I Find an Agent?

By Eric Olsen I know there are some good agents out there. Some of the writers in We Wanted to Be Writers have good agents, agents who sell their work and aggressively look after their interests and hold their hands when hands need holding and return their calls and do all the other things agents [...]

It All Started With Science Fiction

It All Started With Science Fiction

On Proton Beams and Mind-Reading Mutants By Eric Olsen My earliest memories of reading involve science fiction. In particular a series of books for children about an eccentric scientist who, as I recall, was rather short, but with a huge head. He might have been an alien, or an alien/human hybrid, but I don’t recall [...]