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grin and bare it

A blog by Matthew Dicks

Latest adventures with my book club

By Matthew Dicks | May 24, 2009

I’m a member of a book club that I enjoy very much. We are currently reading Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago. It was chosen by my wife, Elysha, who views her opportunity to choose…

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Much improved

By Matthew Dicks | May 22, 2009

Just after complaining about my ability to write dialogue, I receive an email from a friend who just finished reading a draft of Unexpectedly, Milo: “Finished the book last week.  It’s a good story –…

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New Yorker insider

By Matthew Dicks | May 21, 2009

Dan Baum has been twittering about his brief career as a staff writer at the New Yorker, and it is fascinating for anyone interested in the literary world and learning more about how freelance writers…

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Two. Period.

By Matthew Dicks | May 19, 2009

In the recent debate over how many spaces should come after a period, I unequivocally come down on the side of two. In the words of this blog’s author, “Taking the extra space away from…

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Bad dialogue

By Matthew Dicks | May 18, 2009

Each time I sit down in front of the laptop, one of my goals is to craft crisp, well-paced, realistic, and original dialogue. A daunting task depending upon the day. I’m much better at this…

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Abbreviated

By Matthew Dicks | May 17, 2009

Another amusing Twitter application: Converting classic novels into 140-character tweets. From the Guardian comes an article about this new medium and this treatment of Pride and Prejudice, one of my wife’s favorite books: Woman meets…

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The good and the bad

By Matthew Dicks | May 15, 2009

I think it’s essential for writers to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Awareness allows writers to take advantage of their strengths while mitigating their weaknesses. In this spirit, here are my three most prominent strengths…

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Fiction set in real life

By Matthew Dicks | May 13, 2009

I read a piece in The Guardian about Project Bookmark Canada. Its mission is to “place permanent markers displaying text from stories and poems in the locations where they take place.” What a novel idea…

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Old man

By Matthew Dicks | May 7, 2009

In her latest series of notes on Unexpectedly, Milo, Taryn indicated that I use the phrase old man quite a lot. Scoffing at the suggestion, I used the Find feature in Word to count the…

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In good company

By Matthew Dicks | May 6, 2009

A while ago, I wrote about Timequake, the last novel by Kurt Vonnegut that I have yet to finish. I’ve been purposely reading the book at a snail’s pace for the past few years, in…

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