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Robert B. Smith's Blog

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Dec.01.2012
     I left the world of regular paychecks in 2006 to follow the urge to write. My colleagues thought that I was nuts, especially when I told them how low my money-making expectations were. There came a point, however, when the books in my head gave me a needed come-to-Jesus...
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Jun.03.2012
Shrader Marks: Keelhouse
Most writers hope for reviews. (Particularly good ones!) All the online sellers post them, but the public has become skeptical, especially when the reviewer is clearly the author in disguise or a close associate. This month, I found out that my latest novel is being reviewed by a regional...
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Apr.19.2012
Shrader Marks: Keelhouse
I heard a pro golfer explain a less than stellar round by saying that he kept hitting his tee shots so that he was always "between clubs" when approaching the greens. Now I'm hardly an avid golfer (what did that little ball ever do to me?), but I understand the dilemma. Club heads are angled to hit...
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Mar.13.2012
     My first novel was published in 2006. It was entitled Night Voices, and I figured it was a one-off. It was an attempt at an action/adventure, and I was happy with the result, though I was less thrilled as a writer in the sense that I was outside my "experience zone". I grew...
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Jan.17.2012
By my normal patterns, I would be writing from Ohio right now, but all patterns have been broken. I am writing instead from Eldoret, a city of 200,000 in western Kenya. When my friends heard that I was planning a trip to Africa, the words "safari" and "lions" were a part of the conversation. The...
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Dec.31.2011
For the New Year, I share one of my latest poems: Sister     When mother went away to care for the baby, sister took charge. It was the way it had to be with little brothers, and mother being so soon gone. Father was busy working all the numbers, but seeing only dead ends. Strong children...
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Oct.01.2011
When I'm teaching ancient history to a class (as opposed to telling my kids about when I was young), I find myself saying things like: "The ancients were not any less intelligent than we are; they just had smaller databases and simpler technologies." My point is that in their own way they reflected...
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Sep.30.2011
Two Brothers
There was a photo at my grandmother's house that was sacred. It was an ordinary enough picture that sat quietly in its frame alongside many other family photos. I first realized its inherent sacred qualities when it appeared time after time in other living rooms or hanging in hallways at the homes...
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Sep.15.2011
This editorial blog appeared mysteriously in my email. It seems to express a different point of view, so I share it here: "Every few years we get a switch in the common fodder. When I was little, everything was a western, and I lived through the waves of lawyers, private eyes, and deep space. Now...
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Sep.10.2011
I suspect that every published author has experienced the dread and delight of book promotion. Success is really an art form, and sometimes simple survival is a good outcome. A first warning for newbies is that "all venues are not created equal." If you are the keynoter at a conference and your...
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May.06.2011
Last month I had a book release event at the Lakewood Public Library near Cleveland. I told the people gathered that, as an author, it's rewarding to find my novels on the shelf of such a fine library. I then added the corollary, there's nothing more depressing than going to a fine library where my...
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Apr.17.2011
My latest suspense novel, McGowan's Return, was officially launched last week. On Friday, I had an hour long radio interview with Joan Bryden of WPCR. This is the third title in my McGowan series, and is getting a good reception. Those who would like to hear the interview can listen to an archived...
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Mar.02.2011
Being second generation Scottish, I had heard stories of the English, and had often seen pictures of the Queen in my grandmother's pantry. As a child, I was told, however, that this was Queen Elizabeth I of Scotland and that was quite different than Queen Elizabeth II of England. I make this...
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Feb.12.2011
Some of my colleagues live in absolute fear of cliché. They are so hung up on it that we’ve had discussions on whether or not it is permissible to have characters within a story speaking in cliché. As a person who has always listened to the voice of real people, the discussion is pointless. In...
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Feb.08.2011
No, this is not a blog about being disoriented. Rather, it describes the place I find myself on the eve of one of my books becoming public. I have this sudden onset of paranoia. Let me explain: Like most writers, I was brought up on the maxim: "write what you know." I may not have...
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