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I write. 'Tis the nature of my beast. I can be found here: And here: And a number of other places. I've missed Y!A. Let's see if I can get back into it.

  • Do you think books we consider to be classics would have a hard time being published today?

    Right now I am reading "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Excellent novel. Rightfully considered a classic. Yet I can't help but think that if Dostoyevsky were alive today and submitted this book the first thing a publisher would do is insist that huge passages be edited out, because the book as is would not be considered "marketable".

    Then again, I could be wrong. What do you think?

    5 AnswersBooks & Authors10 years ago
  • When was the last time you submitted your work?

    I'm sorry I haven't been around as much. I've been pretty busy, including spending a lot of time doing what my question implies, writing and submitting material to various e-magazines and publications. So far I've had four pieces accepted.

    Coming on here, I see some of my contacts are doing fine, others not so fine. My thoughts and well wishes are with all of you. We all have the written word in common, a love of reading, writing, or both. For those who write, I hope you have been able to keep at it.

    And not just my contacts, but anyone else here who has a love of writing, I want to say KEEP AT IT!

    Take care. I hope to be back on a more regular basis soon.

    7 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Is Shakespeare still censored in school?

    I brought this up in an answer a short time ago, and I am curious to see if this is still the case. When I was in high school 30 years ago, we were made to read an edited version of "Romeo and Juliet". It seems that some of the dialogue, especially between the two Capulet guards Sampson and Gregory in the first scene, was too racy for our young, impressionable minds, such as this exchange:

    Sampson: True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall and thrust his maids to the wall.

    Gregory: The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men.

    Sampson: 'Tis all one, and I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men I will be cruel with the maids, and cut off their heads.

    Gregory: The heads of the maids?

    Sampson: Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

    I guess they were afraid lines like that would give us naughty ideas. So are these lines and others like them still excised from school texts today?

    7 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • A question about Microsoft Office Word 2010?

    I have recently installed MS Office Word 2010 on my computer. I want to save documents onto a disk, but every time I do it tells me it is saved as "read only", meaning I cannot go back and do edits or put additional text in the document. I'm sure there is a very simple way to solve this problem, but I am having a hard time figuring it out. How can I save a document to a disk that is not "read only"? Thanks!

    1 AnswerSoftware1 decade ago
  • B&A Regulars: How did you get started on Y!A Books & Authors?

    Did you come here and sign up intentionally, or did you discover this place by accident, like I did? I stumbled on here about two years ago when I was searching for local writing groups in my area, decided to sign on, and the rest is history...of a sort... :P

    19 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Movie watchers: what are your guilty pleasures?

    Here are mine:

    1. The Warriors (1979): This one is about a New York City street gang who, after a disastrous conclave with other gangs, has to run and fight their way back to their home turf, about fifty miles away, in the course of one night. The acting is awful and the dialogue is hilarious, but there's something about this movie, mostly the way it was photographed, that keeps me coming back to watch it.

    2. Smokey and the Bandit (1977): This movie had Burt Reynolds at his peak. It is utterly implausible and ridiculous, but this movie, with its inane plot of bootlegging beer across state lines, still does it for me. The car chases are pretty good, and Jackie Gleason as the sheriff is great. I dare anyone to listen to "Eastbound and Down" without tapping their toe.

    3. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978): This is the granddaddy of all the raunchy comedies that are popular today, such as "The Hangover" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin". The movie is crass and juvenile, to be certain, but it features the late, great John Belushi at his best, and I absolutely love the ending.

    4. Heavy Metal (1981): As much as I hate to say it, this movie, more than any other, defined my generation. A series of violent, very adult cartoons based on a glowing, evil green ball from space, it featured metal music at its peak and all the faux-nihilistic attitude that went along with it. This is one of those movies you either love or hate, no middle ground.

    5. Conan the Barbarian (1982): Yup, the one I'm most embarrassed to admit to. Good ol' Arnold Schwarzenegger at his sword-swinging best. Dismembered limbs and spurting blood galore. Arnold's dialogue is, as always, priceless. Nobody delivers as much cheese and campiness as he does. And I never fail to watch it if I catch it on TV.

    5 AnswersMovies1 decade ago
  • Readers: what are your guilty pleasures?

    Here are mine:

    1. "Hell's Angel" by Sonny Barger: Yes, I admit, I am fascinated with the world of outlaw motorcycle gangs. This book, written by Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger, details his involvement in the Oakland chapter of the gang from its inception to now. The stories, I am the first to admit, are undoubtedly embellished and given a positive spin for his image, but, for me, they are still very entertaining.

    2. "Mankind" by Mick Foley: "Mankind" was one of the stage names for Mick Foley, a professional wrestler who found success under other guises as well. I enjoyed watching this ridiculous "sport" when I was younger, but I hesitated picking this book up at first. Imagine my surprise when I found it to be an unflinching, honest look at this world, and very well-written besides.

    3. Anything by Clive Cussler: Clive Cussler is a very successful author who has made his fortune with the character of Dirk Pitt, an impossibly handsome and competent main character in a long series of novels where he beats seemingly impossible odds against increasingly flamboyant bad guys. The stories, I admit, are starting to repeat themselves, and I am about to give this series up, but Cussler is a decent writer with a very good narrative flow.

    4. "Titus Andronicus" by William Shakespeare: Maybe Shakespeare wrote this one while hungover, I don't know. Anyway, this has to be his most unrepentantly violent play. It involves a Roman general, the title character, matching wits and acts of violence with the captive Goth queen Tamora. The scene where Titus kills Tamora's sons and has them cooked into a meat pie which he then feeds to the Goth queen is the Bard at his most perverse.

    5. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon) by Crystal Zevon: I picked this one up because I am a huge fan of the late, great Warren Zevon. This biography, based on the experiences of his former wife and of everyone else who was close to him in life, shows him in all his creative, and destructive, glory. His music was years ahead of its time, but he was also a chronic alcoholic and womanizer. Reading this book was like watching a Rolls Royce crashing into a cement barrier, but I loved it.

    11 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Writers: are you an eternal optimist?

    If you are a writer who regularly submits pieces to various publications, do you still get that giddy, promising feeling every time you send something out, regardless of the stack of rejection notices from past submissions with which you could wallpaper a room? I must confess, I still do. What are your experiences and thoughts concerning this?

    5 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Is there Free Will in the afterlife?

    Let's suppose, for the sake of this question, that God and Heaven/Hell exist. Now, if you die and find yourself in Heaven, are you still able to make your own conscious decisions? And if you can, does this mean you can still make the wrong decisions and be made to Fall, as Satan did in Paradise Lost? Or does the "Glory of God" completely obliterate what we in this mortal world consider to be minds? Just curious.

    9 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Should philosophy be offered as a course of study for high school students?

    Maybe I'm a little behind the times. Maybe in some high schools it already is. But if it is not, should it be? Would an introduction to the world's greatest thinkers encourage them into independent thinking of their own?

    5 AnswersPhilosophy1 decade ago
  • What are your thoughts about APICS?

    I am currently pursuing my CPIM through APICS. Has anyone here gone through this program? If so, how has it impacted your employement/position at your company?

    1 AnswerOther - Careers & Employment1 decade ago
  • What does this quote mean to you?

    I was recently perusing my well-thumbed copy of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and these words jumped out at me:

    "The effect of any writing on the public mind is mathematically measurable by its depth of thought. How much water does it draw? If it awaken you to think, if it lift you from your feet with the great voice of eloquence, then the effect is to be wide, slow, permanent, over the minds of men; if the pages instruct you not, they will die like flies in the hour. The way to speak and write what shall not go out of fashion is, to speak and write sincerely."

    What do these words mean to you? I am looking forward to your answers.

    And, before you say it, I am not looking for someone to do my homework. I am forty-five years old and have not seen the inside of a classroom in over twenty years.

    5 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Do you enjoy, or can't you stand, reading your own work?

    I've heard it said a number of times that writers hate reading their own work. So, all you writers, how do you feel about this? Do you enjoy reading what you put down on the page, or do you, even when beta readers sing your praises, cringe and groan at what you've written and constantly want to rewrite it?

    7 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Does solipsism mean...?

    My question may seem facetious to some, not to mention a blatant rip-off of a famous movie tag-line, but...

    Does solipsism mean never having to say you're sorry?

    Think about it a bit and see what conclusions you come up with.

    3 AnswersPhilosophy1 decade ago
  • Have you ever had to overcome writer's apathy?

    What follows is my own battle with this dread condition:

    I am forty-five years old and have enjoyed writing since elementary school. I wrote my first novel (unpublished, of course) in my senior year in high school, and throughout my twenties I continued to put pen to paper every chance I had.

    Then...I lost interest. I lost interest in writing and in a lot of other things. I became complacent and sedentary. I put on a ton of weight and waddled through each day as it came.

    Then I started getting tired. Very tired. Every day was a struggle to stay awake. I was tested and discovered to have severe sleep apnea. Without realizing it, I was waking up three hundred times a night because I was slowly strangling whenever I tried to sleep. I was put on a breathing machine at night and given a choice: lose weight or die.

    I have two young boys that I want to see grow up. I chose to shake myself out of my destructive lifestyle and live.

    Within a year's time I lost almost a hundred pounds. I was able to breathe on my own at night.

    And guess what? My creative juices broke through, an incredible torrent that propelled me back into one of my greatest passions in life: writing.

    That was four years ago. Since then I've written three novels (none published...yet) and I am currently working on my fourth. In between I write short stories by the score.

    I continue to eat right and exercise...I don't dare discontinue that.

    That's how I overcame writer's apathy. Now let's hear from all of you.

    3 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • When your character does their own thing...?

    To all you writers out there: Have you ever experienced writing a particular scene where a character (or characters) suddenly says or does something you did not expect, even as you are writing it? If so, how do you feel about it? Do you feel this possibly opens the story to an idea that is better than your original one, or do you feel that this is just a lack of discipline on the part of the writer?

    3 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • An age-old question...?

    Much of Milton's "Paradise Lost" revolves around Lucifer's aggressive pursuit of Free Will. According to most established monotheistic religions, God is an omniscient being.

    My question is: if God is omniscient, can Free Will truly exist? What are your thoughts on this matter?

    4 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago
  • Is originality an obsolete concept?

    There are many good stories out there, but they all follow the same basic pattern:




    It seems that every novel I pick up, no matter how well-written it is, is just a reworking of dozens of similar, previous novels.

    So my question is: Is true originality possible anymore? What do you think, people?

    6 AnswersBooks & Authors1 decade ago