Archives for writing

Today is the birthday of American writer Laura Hillenbrand (1967)

The author of two best-selling books of nonfiction: Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001) and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010).Hillenbrand grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and spent her childhood riding horses on the family farm, a stone cottage on the banks of the Potomac River that was once used as a hospital during the battle of Antietam. She had to drop out of Kenyon College after suffering her first bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and was confined to bed for the next 18 months. She first published an article about Seabiscuit, the legendary racehorse, in American Heritage magazine (2003). Seabiscuit was small, knobby-kneed, and lazy, and his rider was a half-blind failed prizefighter, but he became the winningest racehorse in history during the 1930s, a symbol of resilience and hope for millions of Americans during the Great Depression. Her agent shopped the proposal to an editor at Random House. The editor wasn’t interested, at first, since books about horses tended to be boring, and the main characters were all dead, but he signed Hillenbrand. She delivered the manuscript 17 months later. The editor read it and sent her an email, which read, “In terms of pure narrative, this is the most satisfying story I have every encountered in my eleven years as an editor. Reading it wasn’t even work; it was pleasure.” Seabiscuit became a New York Times best-seller. The film version starred Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges (2003). Because of her chronic fatigue syndrome, Hillenbrand rarely leaves her house, so she’s had to adjust her research methods. She buys vintage newspapers on eBay and does interviews with her subjects by phone. She also listens to a lot of historical audio books, which she says makes her a better writer. “Good writing has a musical quality to it, a mathematical quality, a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it’s read aloud.” It was while reading old articles about Seabiscuit that Hillenbrand came across a story about running phenomenon Louis Zamperini, whose bombardier plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 1943. He spent 47 days adrift on a raft, eating seabirds, until he and his companion were captured. He spent the next two years being tortured in three different Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. Hillenbrand’s book about Zamperini, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010) has been on the New York Times best-seller list for over four years. Angelina Jolie directed the film version (2014). About writing, Hillenbrand says: “I feel so fully alive when I’m really into a story. I feel like all my faculties are engaged, and this is where I’m meant to be. It’s probably what a racehorse feels like when it runs. This is what it’s meant to do, what its body is meant to do. This is what my mind is meant to do.”
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®
National broadcasts of The Writer’s Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation.

I Need Your Help!

I need 1,000 nominations for this novel to get a publishing contract from Amazon.

Please nominate it. Thank you.
Joe. D.

THE MOUNTAIN WILL COVER YOU

by Joe DiBuduo

Can Zelda sacrifice her son to save humanity?

Pastors in Africa beat children in exorcism rituals. Christian and “traditional healers” charge a fortune for their services. Zelda’s goal is to end the abuse of children accused of witchcraft. Zelda battles her enemies alone by using her growing paranormal powers. Do they descend from the God, Mithras, an alien, or the devil? Or are they the result of a genetic mutation that allows her to see into other dimensions? Can she break the code in ancient documents or will they remain hidden?

Time to Quit

Minimum wage is more than I’ll ever make

for a written page. No matter how hard I work

and persevere, the money just isn’t there to pay

me for staying up all night to type out a morning

glory of a story that’s flowing through my brain.

 

Is it time to call it a day, when, “Not for me,’

or “Thanks anyway,” is all I hear and when I

do get a, “We’ve accepted your story for publication,”

there’s never a check or cash award. Should I be

happy with that?

 

I’m not the only one working day and night without

compensation,  publication, or recognition. What’s our

condition when we submit our prose and poems over and over

to those who suppose they know if what we write during the days

and nights is good enough to appear this year in print or in an ezine.

 

While watching the birds go down to drink, I think of what Albert Einstein

said, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different

results is insanity,” That concludes that what writers do is lunacy, and it must

be contagious because there’re so many of us that are tired of repeating the required

process of submitting to those folks who think they know!

Collaboration

Collaboration

 

With a smile, I’ll write what I have to say

about the left and right, maybe even the

purple night, so she can preview my loving words.

 

She can change the color of the night or left

from right to romantic words she’s dying to see

roll from the typewriter keys of a man she loves.

 

In return, she’ll begin to send me words I’d love

to have whispered in my ear without fear by a

woman filled with rage and passion, like her.

 

When like an old fashioned miracle, we finish

our tale, we may not have love, but beautifully

written words that readers will believe are true

and could only be written from the heart of

someone irresistibly in love.

 

A romantic tale will prevail that would never have

been told if it wasn’t for a man and woman who

write, to have pooled resources and collaborated.