Willard the Writer in his younger days.

Willard the Writer in his younger days.

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Book Review: “The Godwulf Manuscript”

The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1)The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was actually a reread, having read all the Spenser novels. Shows signs of being a first novel and the Spenser here is not quite the Spenser of the later books, but the elements are here. It is worth reading and enjoying either as a first-time reader or coming back to it again.

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Monday morning writing joke: “Big fish”

Two scriptwriters were sitting in a bar in holiday talking about their latest series pitches to studio executives.

First writer: “I pitched the story that was the retelling of the big fish. In this case, the fish was so huge he was about the swallow the entire Earth. And the only thing in between him and his goal is a female nephrologist.”

Second writer: “Why a nephrologist?”

First writer: “Ever seen a series with a nephrology doctor in the lead?”

Second writer: “No.”

First writer: “See, that would make it different. Unique. Besides, my girl friend is a nephrologist–”

Second writer: “And you’re trying to impress her.”

First writer: “You got that right.”

Second writer: “What did the executive say?”

First writer: “‘You got to be kidney-ing me.'”

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Robert De Niro’s advice can be of use to us all

Esteemed actor Robert De Niro’s commencement speech to the 2015 graduates of NYU’s Tisch School of Arts is colorful, humorous, and honest. Reject will come often, he said. His answer: Next. Next project. Next part. Next try.

It will not be easy, he said, but succumbing to your destiny often isn’t, especially in the arts.

Don’t worry, it’s only about 16 minutes long. He headed the advice of a couple of Tish students he consulted beforehand who told him to keep it short.

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10 Little Known Facts About Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


1. He compared Sherlock Holmes—arguably his greatest creation—to pâté de foie gras.
…And Doyle really hated pâté de foie gras. He told a friend, “I have had such an overdose of [Holmes] that I feel towards him as I do towards pâté de foie gras, of which I once ate too much, so that the name of it gives me a sickly feeling to this day.”

2. We live in a world with Doyle’s fiction because no one wanted him as their doctor.
If at first you don’t succeed at being a doctor, become a world-famous novelist! After getting his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh Medical School and serving as a ship’s surgeon, Doyle opened his own practice in Southsea. Hardly any patients came, so he began writing fiction in his free time.

3. Doyle and Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie were on the same cricket team.
The team was called the Allah-Akabarries, a combination of Barrie’s name and an Arabic phrase meaning, “May the Lord help us.” The two men met at university and remained lifelong friends.

4. He once bought a car without ever having driven one.
Best way to learn, right? Doyle was one of Britain’s early prominent motorists, and he quickly took to the emerging form of transport, entering an international road competition in 1911.

5. He spent a million dollars trying to convince the world that fairies were real.
Not only did Doyle believe fairies existed, he worked pretty tirelessly to make other people believe too. His million went to promoting the authenticity of the infamous Cottingley Fairy photographs—a hoax, if you’re a skeptic, and not a true believer like Doyle—and he later wrote a book called The Coming of the Fairies.

To read the rest, go to:

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Photo finish Friday: “In a pickle”

The odd-shaped pickle.

The odd-shaped pickle.

I’m in a bit of a pickle.
I don’t know what to say
About this green sweet midget
I found just the other day.
Some say it looks like a mitten;
Others, a cactus gone awry.
I say it looks like a device
I’ve heard some give a try.
There is a pick up line
About nickel to tickle a pickle.
I say the shape of this one
Might just be the pickle tickle
As the holiday approaches
And Summer flows into the air
I want to solve this issue
So I can enter without a care.
If you have any idea
Of what this shape is about
Then please let me know
So I will no longer have any doubt.

A Vlasic classic?

A Vlasic classic?

–Photos and poem by David E. Booker

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Haiku to you Thursday: “Spores”

Spores on my windshield. /

Pollen fairy dusts my car. /

Sneeze greets morning sun.

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