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Christopher Meeks's Blog

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Christopher Meeks
  Many novelists I know are a bit like Rodney Dangerfield, feeling like they get no respect. Yet after diving into publishing three years ago. I remain optimistic. Before I explain why, let me remind you of the state of publishing: book advances continue to diminish; imprints are disappearing; red...
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Philip Wear 1930-2009
  Yesterday happened to be the 40th anniversary of the lift-off of Apollo 11, which led Neil Armstrong, who had flown 78 combat missions over Korea as a Navy fighter pilot, to take the first steps on the moon. The crew of three--Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins--blasted off from Cape...
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  My stepfather continues to live, but his body is starting to shut down. He's been moved today to a home-like hospice setting. The antibiotics have been stopped, and because he can't swallow, he has an IV for water and nutrition. Even if the pneumonia could be stopped, too much else is failing. He...
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Phil Wear in the Huntington's Zen Garden
  One hundred and twenty-eight years ago today, New Mexico sheriff Pat Garrett, from Lincoln County, shot and killed William H. Bonney alias Billy the Kid, after Bonney's escape from jail. On this same day, another death, one that means more to me, may happen. Today may be the day my stepfather...
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Phil and his late wife Della
After William F. Buckley and his wife had died within the same year, their son, the humorist Christopher Buckley, had a hard time dealing with the loss, and he wrote, "One realization does dawn upon the death of the second parent, namely that you've now moved into the green room to the River...
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  Each of us is feeling the pinch, if not the stranglehold, of our present economy. We drive less, eat out less, and worry about the future. You may blame "the banks," the way people in the Great Depression did and why John Dillinger became a folk hero. (And the film Public Enemies with...
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"Away We Go"
I happen to be writing a mystery about a man who's been faithful in his marriage for twenty-two years, but after a passionate misstep one evening in Las Vegas with an acquaintance, he finds her dead in the morning. Someone murdered her, and the police think it's him. As I'm writing, I'm exploring...
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Monica Himmel and Mathew Gottlieb in "Who Lives?"
A couple of months ago, Wendy at the literary website Musings of a Bookish Kitty asked if I’d like to write a guest blog just before her review of my novel, The Brightest Moon of the Century appeared. I wrote about the connection between author and audience. I include the posting below.-- As a...
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J.D. Salinger in 1951, the year "Catcher in the Rye" was published
  The 1951 iconic novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger has been in the news recently because of a new book out, Sixty years Later: Coming Through the Rye, by Swedish author Fredrik Colting. Salinger's lawyers filed a lawsuit, saying the book is a sequel and infringes on Salinger's...
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  I've joined Facebook. I've plunged in. I'm still figuring out what it means. I've always been fascinated by new inventions, often jumping in on a trend without thinking about it. In high school, I bought four large state-of-the-art Acoustic Research speakers and a quadraphonic system, which...
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  My grandfather collected every single issue of Life, the weekly magazine that began November 23, 1936, and ended December 8, 1972. He bound most of them in hardback volumes, four volumes per year--127 volumes total, and the rest wrapped in craft paper by quarter year. It's something like sixteen...
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Edvard Munch painting on a beach in 1907
Someone recently told me that life was like a roll of toilet paper--it goes so much faster at the end. While I may have twenty to thirty years left, barring a quicker surprise, those numbers are starting to feel definite. This feeling of mortality started, ironically, at the Edvard Munch show that...
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My mother's house in summer twilight
  A number of years ago, looking for something in a rarely used cabinet at my mother's house, I came across drawings of a young child, around two years old with short, neatly parted hair. My name showed that I was the subject. I took them to my mother and asked, "Who drew these?" She said...
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  If you strive to get a book published, getting published is a huge enough challenge, but perhaps an even bigger hurdle is getting your books into bookstores. Amazon and other online venues are happy to carry and sell your book, but online bookselling is only 21% of the market. If you want your...
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  My most recent short story collection Months and Seasons is up for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. It's a prize from Ireland, the most lucrative short story award around, which Jhumpa Lahiri won last year for Unaccustomed Earth. Leading names on this year's list include...
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