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Really R.E.A.L.

Last weekend I read a book entitled "Diversity, Resiliency, and Legacy," edited by Jean Herbert, associate dean of undergraduate education at Tufts University, and Tina Marie Johnson, a doctoral candidate at Tufts. The book is a collection of interviews with and essays by students who graduated from the university as participants in the R. Read More 
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Fiction and Libel, Continued

An Associated Press article dated November 23, 2009, which I found posted at www.firstamendmentcenter.org, sheds further light on Vickie Stewart's lawsuit against Haywood Smith and St. Martin's Press, respectively author and publisher of The Red Hat Club.

To quote from the article: "Because Stewart is not a public figure, her attorneys only needed to  Read More 
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Fiction and Libel

Haywood Smith, author of a 2003 bestseller entitled "The Red Hat Club," and her publisher, St. Martin's, were sued by a childhood friend of Smith who claimed that Smith had based a character in the novel on her. A Georgia jury found that plaintiff Vickie Stewart had indeed been defamed, and awarded her $100,000.

Interestingly, the jury did not find that Stewart's privacy had been invaded, and did not award her attorneys' fees. The jury also found that Smith and St. Martin's had acted "in good faith" in, respectively, writing and publishing the book, and that the characterization didn't constitute "an act of vengeance."

What Smith  Read More 
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Yet Another Great Headline

"Jesus Christ Dumped from Jury Pool for Disruption" --- USA Today, Dec. 2, 2009

A woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ was dismissed from juror service for behaving badly in an Alabama courthouse.

The article notes that "Efforts to reach Christ for comment were unsuccessful."
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Aesthetic Versus Spiritual

Over the course of many years, and in the course of many conversations, I've heard people refer to themselves as having "spiritual" experiences. Not being spiritual myself, I've often wondered what they meant by this. When I question them, "spiritual" people claim that "spiritual" experiences occur when they listen to Mozart, or view some  Read More 
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Another Great Headline

From CNN, today: "Galileo's Fingers Found in Jar."

Apparently one of Galileo's teeth was in the jar as well.
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Computer Problems

I would have long since added some more interviews and such, but I've been having computer and internet service provider problems that are so grotesque they verge on the comical. No one seems to know what the issue is, but the folks at my ISP and at the local Staples have been extraordinarily gracious  Read More 
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Is Literature Boring? (Part Three)

Well, is it? If you read my two previous posts on this subject, you know that at least one contemporary author feels that it is. If it ain't slow and boring, then it ain't literature.

I suppose the question then becomes: What, exactly, is the purpose of literature?

Anybody?
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Thoughts about Bill Tapply

Most of you know that my old friend Bill Tapply died last summer, following a battle with leukemia that Bill fought with the good humor and good spirits characteristic of him.

I always looked forward to Bill's next book. His was the kind of writing that you sank into after a long hard day--a reward  Read More 
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Benita Kane Jaro Interview, Part Two

Susan Kelly: A moment ago you spoke of Enid Blyton. Are those children's mystery stories the reason you include a mystery element in so many of your novels [THE LOCK, THE KEY, and THE DOOR IN THE WALL]?

Benita Kane Jaro: I hadn't thought of that! They must be. I still love mysteries, and  Read More 
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