Author Archives: thiscommonreader

On Reading Books about Writing

As we’ve all been told, perspective employers, customers, and friends skulk around our digital profiles to determine if we have pre-existing conditions like “bad spelling-itis” or “incorrect word usage addictions”. However, for me, life is too short to spend time … Continue reading

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Channeling The Bard

Is there really anything new under the stars when it comes to creating love scene dialogue? Remember the run away line from the movie Jerry Maguire?  Showing up unannounced, Jerry (Tom Cruise) professes in a garrulous soliloquy his undying love for … Continue reading

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Mary Dulcie’s Jam Cake and The Christmas Lasagna Mutiny

By the time I was old enough to boil water, my mother welcomed an extra pair of hands into her kitchen. At twelve, I was promoted to holiday cookie baker. However, my mother entrusted no one but herself with the … Continue reading

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Memoirs: They’re not just for celebrities

Doug Jones says a memoir is not an autobiography, which requires research to verify events and dates. No, he says, a memoir is the story of your life or, perhaps, a milestone event you’ve experienced. Your story must be what … Continue reading

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What came first, writing or reading?

If you ask, any writer will tell you he was a reader long before he wrote the first sentence with intentions of publishing. Like Scout Finch, I was reading before my momma packed me off to first grade. By the … Continue reading

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Hats off for respect

  l love a man who wears a hat. A man wearing a hat badly, not so much. Recently, my husband and I watched a re-broadcast of In Performance at the White House, the episode  in which some of the nation’s … Continue reading

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Time for the Summer Reading List

Warmer days are here and so is This Common Reader’s 2015 summer recommendations, featuring some of the talented James River Writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Non-fiction: Consider spending time with the “historical adventure stories” of Dean King, co-founder … Continue reading

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Social Media and the Afterlife

In her second novel, Goodbye for Now, Laurie Frankel takes a classic theme of the human experience—we live, we love, then we die—to a new level by adding avatars of her characters’ dead loved ones. Sam, a software coding genius, … Continue reading

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Peace on Earth, David Sedaris Style

If Seinfeld is a show about nothing, then David Sedaris’s essays are musings on the same topic. The humorist has been scribbling about bellybutton lint and other life oddities since courdory jackets were hip. His big break came in 1992 … Continue reading

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Summer of 2014 Reading List

This spring my husband and I ventured out on what I called The Grand Inland Southern Tour. En route to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, our road trip took us through Birmingham, Alabama by way of Chattanooga, Tennessee. … Continue reading

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