“Victory over our Self,” ? “Ourself,” ?

We improve ouselves by victory over our selfour·self


used instead of “ourselves,” typically when “we” refers to people in general rather than a definite group of people.



a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
“our alienation from our true selves”
synonyms: ego, I, oneself, persona, person, identity, character, personality, psyche, soul, spirit, mind, (inner) being

Ernest Hemingway, Writing & Style

My favorite book by Ernest Hemingway is The Sun Also Rises.

I read TSAR for the first time when I was about 10. Although many of the themes in the novel were over my head then, I was mesmerized by the writing style – the concise prose, the near absence of sentiment, and the maddening gaps in the story – all fueled my fascination. (Although, I despised Lady Brett Ashley then and I haven’t warmed to her in the past 35 years!) The Sun Also Rises is a book I can read over and over; it continually humbles me as a writer.

No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame. Mr. Hemingway knows how not only to make words be specific but how to arrange a collection of words which shall betray a great deal more than is to be found in the individual parts. It is magnificent writing.
—The New York Times review of The Sun Also Rises, 31 October 1926

It took Hemingway only 2 months to write the draft of TSAR. I long to develop that kind of focus. Hemingway liked to write standing up on his Royal Quiet de Luxe typewriter in his Havana home. That is one writing technique I have not tried, but, as I am brutally frustrated with my lack of progress, I just might have to get out of my chair and stand in front of my desk.

[I believe the Havana Hemingway typewriter sold at auction in 2008 or 2009 for around $2750, so I will have to make do with my MacBook Air in my Colorado Springs apartment for now.]

Review: Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance by Rosanne Bane

Around the Writer's Block When I first read Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance
by Rosanne Bane I remember thinking setting 15 minutes on an egg timer and forcing myself to write until the buzzer went off – and doing this consistently, every day – sounded like one of the silliest pieces of advice I had ever encountered. You can imagine how sheepish I felt when, after performing this simple ritual and finding such a wonderful sense of satisfaction as I watched the words I managed to get on paper grew each day and each week. Bane’s book is packed with (seemingly) trivial tasks – but the exercises are designed to build upon each other. In time, you find yourself wondering how you could have missed the value the assigned tasks. Bane’s Around the Writer’s Block will help both new and experienced writers to focus and work productively.

Pick up a copy! I promise – it’s well worth having in your personal library. I refer to mine again and again, whenever the urge to procrastinate hits!

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (August 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158542871X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585428717
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

In my dreams, I’m on this list – The Edgar® Awards

edgar allan poeEach year, the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe by honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in the previous year.

The 2014 Edgar® Awards were presented to the winners at MWA’s 68th Gala Banquet, May 1,2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City. Continue reading

Review: Howdunit Forensics: A Guide for Writers by D.P. Lyle

When you are writing a murder mystery, eventually somebody is going to have to die, but unless you have a real-life back ground in forensics and an infallible memory, you are going to need some help making your murder feel authentic and believable. Enter the “Howdunit” series from Writer’s Digest Books. This set of (at last count 13) books is designed to help a writer plan, execute, and – sometimes – prosecute the crimes his characters commit. Continue reading

Review: Code: A Virals Novel by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

codecvrIn Code: A Virals Novel, the third installment of Kathy Reichs’ young adult series, Tory Brennan and the rest of the Virals are back for a geocaching hunt that, once again, places their lives in jeopardy. While the novel possesses the fast pace, wry humor, and accessible science that make her Temperance Brennan novels, (Deja Dead ,Flash and Bones) so enjoyable,  Reichs co-writes the “Virals” novels with her son, Brendan, former attorney-turned-new writer.  In an interview by Publisher’s Weekly, Kathy Reichs describes the collaborative process. Continue reading