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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture


Hey, Carl Purdon nominated me for a Liebster Award. Thanks, Carl!! This post is my response AND obligation to fulfill the terms:

When a person receives the award, that person:

  •  Posts 11 random facts about themselves and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated them
  • Passes the award on to 11 other blogs (while making sure to notify the blogger that nominated them!)
  • Writes 11 NEW questions directed towards THEIR nominees.
  • Is not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated them!
  • Pastes the award picture into their blog.


11 random facts about me:
1. I’ve lived in 3 states and 3 countries.
2. I’ve moved 27 times in my life (thus far).
3. I wrote my first story at the age of 5.
4. I used to shoplift candy.
5. I own 3 laptops.
6. I do not own a smartphone.
7. The only sport I watch anymore is NFL football (via the web).
8. I’ve read more than 1,000 books.
9. Red wine is my friend.
10. I take a power nap nearly every day.
11. I spend too much time on the computer.

Here are the answers to Carl’s questions:

1) Before now, had you ever heard of the Leibster Award?
No, and I’m not sure the point of it beyond self-promotion. But I’m all for self-promotion. If you have a problem with that, complain at the grave-site of Norman Mailer.

2) Before now, had you ever heard of me?
I’ve had a cyber-friendship with Carl for 8 months or so. He’s a hell of a writer and author-interviewer.

3) How long have you been blogging?
About six years, primarily as a professional writer, working in travel tips/places, literary reviews, writing mentor, and all-around court jester.

4) What is the primary purpose of your blog?
I have several blog-type pages on my home site,, including story-dialogue invention through single  photographs, the publishing circus, writing tips and coaching, book reviews, a commonplace book, Ways of Seeing vis-a-vis book and arts culture, and a more personal blog about where I presently live (Prague).

5) Where do your blogging ideas come from?
Anywhere and everywhere, but primarily I focus on the writing/creative process, plus book culture (wherever it might still exist).

6) Do you blog according to a schedule or is it more random?
I have a mental schedule, but my thoughts are random. There’s simply too much that MUST be done (which includes blogging, but….)

7) If you have a day job, what is it? If not, just say something interesting.
I teach business/general English to industry leaders and cogs-in-the-machine throughout Prague, Czech Republic. It beats the pants off of corporate work. Now I visit corps and get served coffee, sometimes wine, the occasional whiskey.

8) Which search engine is set as default on your browser?
Google … but I’ve been seriously considering making random search-engine usage, just to mix things up.

9) Did you have to check your browser before answering #8?
Umm… shit!

10) What is the title of the last book you read?
“When She was Good” by Philip Roth. Over and over, I find Roth the consummate contemporary author, whose thoughtful prose and multi-dimensional characters create stories that leave you with far more questions about your own life than answers to what we the characters seem to be seeking.

11) Have you ever met a famous person?
I lived in NYC for several years, so lots of them (Rick Ocasek, Lauren Bacall), and have written features for magazines & newspapers that have allowed me to interview people (Peter Max). But the best “meetings” I’ve had have been with people whose lives should have been celebrated more than the so-called “famous.” For instance, I interviewed a Polish émigré who, at the age of eleven, fought with the resistance during WWII (bringing hand-made grenades hidden in hollowed-out potatoes to partisans), was sent to work as a slave laborer in north Germany, and after nearly seven years of war, returned home and when she knocked on her door, her mother answered, looked at her, and ask who she was. She had left as a child and returned as a woman.


Okay, that’s over with, and those Qs were fun to answer. It’s time for my 11 nominations:

Patricia Ann McNair

Tim Chambers

Bob McKamie

John Wiswell

CJ Black

Padraig De Brun

Sarah Elle Emm

Darlene Hartman

Lyndon Haynes

Kathryn Johnston

Mark Tierno


Finally, the last step. Below are the 11 questions for my nominees:

1. Do you have a favorite blog-post title you came up with?
2. Which is your preference, Books or Movies?
3. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
4. What 3 books would you want with you on a desert island?
5. How would your life change significantly if there were no computers?
6. How much sleep do you need overnight?
7. What’s the last thing you made?
8. Hold you breath for as long as possible and time yourself. What’s the result?
9. What’s the average (guesstimating) length of your blog posts?
10. What are you going to have for lunch tomorrow?
11. What art do you have on your walls?

B-dee—B-dee—B-dee—B-dee—baaaa … That’s all, folks!



What Beauty is my newest novel, a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

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