Drew’s Blog

307, 2017

Honoring a Writer

July 3rd, 2017|Events, Writers, Writing|

If you hold a poet in highest esteem, you may attend an open mic and read or recite the poet’s work. If it is music that moves you, and you have some talent, you can “cover” the pieces you value. If you have no talent  speak of, you might still become, for a few minutes, a Karaoke King for some unsuspecting captive audience in a public gathering place. How many versions of “Desperado” does the world need.

But how does one honor a writer in a personal way? On July 21st at Wake Forest’s Neck of the Woods Theater, I am going to try something.

The writer is Ambrose Bierce, Civil War Union Soldier and later journalist, critic, cynic, and author of some of the most hauntingly beautiful prose about some of man’s most horrific experiences, those of war and the life of the soldier.
… read more

803, 2017

Two Books To Calm Your Mind About Today’s Politics

March 8th, 2017|Writers, Writing|

I am watching way too much television and reading far more than I should about politics. I do not need to know what forty-four liberal thinkers think about what Donald Trump’s tweets are doing to the capacity of the United States to promulgate NATO power in the Baltic states. Nor do I need to hear forty-five conservative voices respond to questions about the effects of repeal of the Affordable Care Act by prefacing their answers with the phrase that goes some version of “first, let’s be clear, Obamacare is a disaster.”

What I need is an intervention. I need forty-six of my closest friends to knock on my door and say “Drew, step away from the TV.” I need them to take me to a nice park on the outside of town where there is a bench where I can sit and read a book. Put a dozen old Natio … read more

812, 2016

Political Fiction: From “Looking Backward” to “Atlas Shrugged”

December 8th, 2016|Writers, Writing|

In my last post I drifted from my usual focus on literature and writing to a journalistic concern having to do with “right wing” versus “left wing” concepts in the local newspaper. Discovering that these two “opposites” of the political spectrum did not actually have universally held definitions, I went on an internet search to educate myself and was rewarded with a website that led me back to books.

I found a site that discussed the “ultimate” right wing and left wing novels. Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was acclaimed as the ideal representation of the right, but many contributors to the site struggled to agree on the perfect left wing novel.

Let me add here that “fiction” in this concept should not be confused with the current concept of “fake news” or propaganda. A true poli … read more

711, 2016

Journalistic Practices at The Wake Weekly

November 7th, 2016|Writing|

Most of my posts are about the creative process. However, I educate and involve myself with many features of the writing life. This blog is about concerns I have about journalistic practices of the local newspaper, The Wake Weekly.

I moved to Wake Forest in 1980 and have read and valued the local newspaper. Over the last few years I have seen a change in its character, evolving from a balanced news entity to one that strongly endorses one political ideology over another. Most of this change is represented in “news” stories that carry the attribution State News Today.

I submitted a brief letter to the editor expressing concern about this change in the paper. For four weeks running I have received feedback from staff at the paper that it was not published due to “spac … read more

2809, 2016

Joining a Writing Group: Finding the Right Fit

September 28th, 2016|Writers, Writing|

Membership in a group that gives thoughtful critique on one’s writing can have many rewards, but it is important to find a good fit. Such groups come in various sizes, levels of experience, and approaches to writing. When the mix of talent and personal qualities is right, the group can be educational and emotionally supportive.

Over the last twelve years I have been in two different groups and have seen examples of how things work well and how things can go wrong. Misunderstood expectations, fragile or gigantic egos, and too great a disparity between talent or experience among members seem to be the main barriers to a rewarding experience.

Many if not most groups recommend a trial period of sufficient length to allow the prospective member to know some key things about the group. How … read more