Archive for The Writer’s Notebook - page 10

Charles Bowden

I got the lousy news on NPR that Charles Bowden died in his sleep on August 30, 2014.  I loved his books.  I loved in particular Blue Desert, the first book of his I read.  I liked hearing that he was rambling alone on foot…

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Franz Kafka: The Thing about Books

  A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.   Franz Kafka   You know, I’ve often wondered whether Kafka meant the books he read or the books he wrote.  For most of us it is the books we read.  But for…

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William S. Burroughs and Me

Every college kid my age read and was influenced by Beat literature in the 60’s.  After all, it was Lawrence, Kansas and everybody opposed the war in Vietnam, everybody smoked dope, and everybody was having a good time.  I came across “Naked Lunch” in a…

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Thank God for Henry Miller! Thank God for “Tropic of Cancer”

With a review of Frederick Turner’s “Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of Tropic of Cancer, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2012 (244pp. $24.95) The Yale Icons of America Series Henry Miller is one of my literary heroes.  Every five years or so I re-read…

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Playing Chess Against Bobby Fischer

You heard me right the first time.  Played a game of chess against Bobby Fischer, the late, great, crazy-as-a-coot former World Champion.   Bobby beat me, slaughtered me in fact, though I held on and kept playing despite the fact that I had few pieces left…

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John O’Brien, Leaving Las Vegas, Alcohol and Death

Back in the late 1980s I was managing editor of Watermark Press, a small literary publishing company located upstairs from Watermark Books, an independent bookstore in Wichita.  We had great dreams of creating the kind of publishing experience City Lights created in San Francisco, only…

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Notes on The Swarming Stage

When I was a kid growing up in a tiny ranching and citrus community in southern California, I loved science fiction movies.  I didn’t read sci-fi, but I went to all the Big Bug Movies like “Them” and I loved the outer space adventures that…

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REJECTION

During the early and mid-1980’s I was an attorney in private practice.  Little by little I gravitated towards criminal law, which seemed to offer more glamorous and action-packed opportunities than the old grind-it-out prospects of business law, divorce or, worse yet, real estate.  My clients…

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The genesis of Mitch Roberts

Here’s a short piece of video which aired on a local news station many years ago. It describes the genesis of Mitch Roberts with some panache, I think. KWCH Gaylord Dold – On the Trail of Mitch Roberts 1987 from Mike Carroll on Vimeo. […

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Mitch Roberts, Robert Mitchum and Me

In the beginning is the struggle to find a title for your book and to name the characters.  It is said that Raymond Chandler chose the surname Marlow for his famous private detective after the Renaissance playwright and spy who was a contemporary of Shakespeare….

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