Understanding Dr. Seuss — and why his books were cancelled

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I have been in love with Dr. Seuss since childhood, and happily raised my own children on his lyrical work. Much of his imagery is delightful because it is so exaggerated; some of it is racist. If you want to understand why the company that manages his content has ceased to publish some of his … Continued

The politically incorrect editor

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I get complaints about how my advice is insensitive to certain types of humans and living things. I will not turn my advice into mush. I like it crunchy. Most of you do, too. If you don’t like it, read somebody else. Here are my responses to the complaints people have made or may be … Continued

Avoiding blurb disasters

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Are you ready to ask for blurbs (endorsement quotes) — for your book? Do it right and you’ll maximize your chances of getting the golden endorsement from your most influential connections. Blow it and they’ll resent you for asking. Here are my best tips for a successful blurb campaign — including a few war stories. … Continued

Misfit

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Here is a story that will tell you something about me. I am in my first month at a new job. I am surrounded by a few colleagues who are the smartest people I ever worked with. The conversation turns to people’s history. We come to realize that all of us have felt like a … Continued

How tragic is the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other causes of death?

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Today I undertake a morbid and probably misguided analysis of the depth of the COVID-19 tragedy in America, examining the number of years of life lost. Trigger warning: this post discusses causes of death including suicide. Why would I undertake such a task? We are all reeling from the shocking numbers here. Half a million … Continued

The LA Times fumbles its coverage of the scary new Coronavirus strain

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A new, not very well understood strain of coronavirus is circulating in California. In its article about it, the LA Times did a very good job of combining fear and uncertainty into a confusing mix that creates more heat than light. Given the amount of misinformation spreading about the virus from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, … Continued

Using Microsoft Word to prepare a book manuscript? Avoid these 14 mistakes.

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You think you know how to use Microsoft Word to write? What you’re doing may be fine for creating a draft to print out, but confusing to the people doing the book page layout and design. If you’re preparing content to be laid out in pages, here are a dozen-plus simple mistakes you really ought … Continued