Saturday, May 31, 2008

Got Chat If You Want It

I'll be "appearing" at WRITERS CHATROOM this Sunday, June 1, from 7 to 9 PM EDT. There's no password or registration required; just go to, click "Enter Chatroom" and log in.

This should be fun, so drop by!

Thanks to Linda J. Hutchinson and the folks at WC for inviting me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ready to Lead, Huh?

You might be more convincing, Senator if you, oh, I dunno, had a clue what you were talking about:

So I can tell you that it is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it's succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels.

Uh, nope. There are 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, which is, last time I checked, more than the 130,000 we had there pre-surge.

The McCain campaign's reaction?

Advisers to Sen. John McCain said the flap over whether the senator was mistaken about the troop level in Iraq is nothing more than "nitpicking" about "verb tenses."

McCain's advisers, including Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, both hit back hard on a conference call this afternoon.

"It is the essence of semantics," a frustrated Scheunemann told reporters who asked about the mistake. "We're having this call about a verb tense. If you choose to write a story about Senator McCain and a verb tense, you need to hold Senator Obama to the exact same standard."

Let's be clear here: Republicans are lambasting Obama because he misstated the name of the concentration camp his great uncle liberated 63 years ago. McCain doesn't know the number of troops we have in Iraq RIGHT NOW. Either that, or he's lying through his teeth.

"Verb tenses. " Jesus Christ.

If I tell my wife, "yes, I took out the garbage" and I have not, in fact, taken out the garbage, I have not "missed a verb tense." I have lied.

Here's another howler from the McCain campaign:

considering Barack Obama hasn't been to Iraq in 873 days and has never had a one on one meeting with Gen. Petraeus, it isn't a surprise to anyone that he demonstrates weak leadership.

So what does it say that McCain HAS gone to Iraq and HAS met with Gen. Petraeus, and he STILL gets it wrong?

Monday, May 26, 2008

MATTERS OF FAITH, Kristy Kiernan

Matters of Faith Matters of Faith by Kristy Kiernan

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kristy Kiernan has many gifts as a writer (and as for her gifts as a person, well, there's not enough room to write about them on only one Internet).

Two of those gifts shine the most brightly in this, her second book:

1. Characterization: Kristy writes characters so complex, so multidimensional, so REAL, that you feel that any moment they're going to step out of the page and strike up a conversation. When they suffer, you suffer along with them. And when they find their moments of redemption and healing, you feel redeemed as well. The people in this book: Cal, Chloe, Marshall, even (or maybe especially) the Grandma, are going to haunt me for a long time.

2. Setting: Kristy clearly loves her home, the places where she was raised in South Florida, and that affection shows through in all of her description of the settings here. The closest comparison I can make is to Pat Conroy, but with a lighter, more graceful touch. The word "grace" keeps recurring in reviews I've read of Kristy's work, and it's an apt one.

Full disclosure: you may have guessed from this review that Kristy is a friend of mine. True enough. But trust me, this is an amazing book, and I'd be recommending it even if Kristy Kiernan was a total stranger.

View all my reviews.

Quote of the Day FishbowlDC: I do think that the quality which makes a man want to write and be read is essentially a desire for self-exposure and is masochistic. Like one of those guys who has a compulsion to take his thing out and show it on the street. - James Jones

So how does this explain women writers?