Monthly Archives: May 2010


Dear Sir or Madam,

Please advise me of your gender so I know how to address further correspondence.

Thank you,
Curtis Retherford.

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Did You Know?


Did you know that the first working prototype for a telephone was invented in 1713, by the amateur French chemist Henri de Champ? If so, you are profoundly mistaken. The telephone was actually invented by Alexander Graham Bell, as nearly everyone is aware. Sure, there were some other people who invented similar devices, but Bell invented the one that became popular, which is why everyone learns his name in elementary school. Were you home-schooled or something? Who the hell is Henri de Champ? History is not yours to invent.


Did you know what Mark Twain was born two weeks after the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, and died, as he himself predicted, in 1910, a day after the comet’s subsequent appearance? Do you think such coincidences have deeper meaning? With all of the events which occur, is it not to be expected that certain unconnected events will coincide multiple times?


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Discussion Topics for a Book Club Reading My Unplublished Novel

1. Carntower Apartments, where much of the action of the novel takes place, is described as “a facade of ennui upon a foundation of misery, an eyesore on a block of eyesores, a derelict monstrosity lingering too long.” How are specific characters extensions of Carntower apartments? Is there a better word to use in the description than “monstrosity?”

2. The main character, Kurtis Standin, is a writer. What words of encouragement would you offer Kurtis?

3. The character Julius Tappenroe suddenly leaves the story in Chapter 5. If he were to return to the narrative, how and why would he return? Offer specific lines of dialogue, if possible.

4: The character of Harper Bantam is described as “callous and corrupt, a leech upon creativity. Were William Faulkner to ask him for an advance, Bantam would return Faulkner’s novel, unread.” How does the theme of an indifferent, uncaring universe affect you as a reader? (more…)

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