Author Archives: debooker

About debooker

A brief (and somewhat ambiguous) biography. One hundred words, more or less, about David Booker might include the following: though lost in the cosmos without a compass, he has nonetheless managed to find his way into middle age. As to what he will do now that he is there is still a matter of speculation. He often seeks guidance from his youthful daughter as he alternately approaches and retreats from the slow expansion of his waistline and the slow collapse of Western Civilization as he knows it. He hopes the two will reach a libration (or libation) point and he will creep into old age with some dignity and clothes intact.

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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Writing tip Wednesday: “10 Poignant Practices for Every Writer”

Here are 10 smart, yet simple ways for every writer—from novelists to journalists to poets—to enrich his or her mind and become better at cultivating ideas and putting them to the page.



1. Travel the world
Old, young, rich, poor, there are many ways to see the world, soak up other cultures, see examples of creativity in art, food, music, architecture. Lately, I’ve been applying to and attending artist residencies to work on my writing in other countries including Spain, Portugal and Mexico. Even if you’re only able to take a day trip, take it! Soak up any experience you can get that lives outside your day-to-day life.

2. Journal
Not just the “My boyfriend broke up with me” kind. (Though that’s fine, too.) Write down your thoughts, ideas, memories, draw pictures, and record dreams. There are many ways to journal including blogs, Pinterest, and various apps. Who knows what ideas the younger you has in store for the older you. You’ll never know if you don’t record them.

3. Be a student throughout your life
So many colleges and universities offer extension courses. I like taking classes outside of my writing interest and have taken Nude Figure Drawing, Ceramics, Anger Management and Stand-Up Comedy, among others. Ultimately, anything you learn can be useful to your writing.

4. Also be a teacher
I grew up in a family that supported my creativity, but many people don’t and they need a mentor to help them navigate the waters. I not only teach in colleges, but at unexpected places, too, like spas and retreats. I love meeting and being inspired by different types of students all over the country. Why not volunteer your time teaching writing to kids or the elderly? Everyone has a story. How wonderful if you’re able to help someone express theirs.

5. Realize that no idea is too big/small/silly/crazy
One afternoon at lunch with a friend I ate too much (as usual). When I lifted my shirt to show him my bloated belly, he said, “Are you sure you’re not pregnant?” and I said, “Yeah, right, from a lazy sperm!” This off-the-cuff comment inspired my first novel, “Swimming Upstream, Slowly,” about a woman who becomes pregnant from a lazy sperm. Silly? Absolutely! Published novel? That’s right! What ideas are you preventing from being realized because you think they are too big/small/silly/crazy?

Other tips include:

6. When you hear “no” do it anyway

7. Accept your shadow side

8. Invest in a good therapist

9. Forgive yourself

10. Practice gratitude

About Melissa Clark: Clark is an author, television writer and college instructor. She is the author of the novels, Bear Witness, Swimming Upstream, Slowly, and Imperfect. Her essay, “Rachael Ray Saved My Life” is included in the anthology The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage.

She is also the creator of the animated television series, “Braceface,” starring the voice of Alicia Silverstone which aired on the ABC Family Channel. She has written scripts for “Rolie Polie Olie,” “Totally Spies,” “Sweet Valley High,” among others. Melissa teaches creative writing and literature courses both privately.

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It was as if each choice branched off in unintended directions.

It was as if each choice branched off in unintended directions.

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