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Reflections of a working writer, a university screenwriting professor, and the editor of Oregon Literary Review.

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Charles Deemer

Oregon Literary Review

MFA, Playwriting, University of Oregon

Writing faculty, Portland State University (part-time)

Retired playwright and screenwriter.
Active novelist, librettist and teacher.

Email: cdeemer(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Finalist, Oregon Book Award

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"Can We Talk About Me For A Change?"
Playwright Debra Neff Nathans

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Ron Silliman, contemporary poetry and poetics

Maud Newton
literary links, amusements, politics, rants

Darren Barefoot
Technical and creative writing, theatre, Dublin

Rob's Writing Pains
Journey of a struggling writer.

Mad, Mad World
Cara Swann, fiction writer, journalist, "reflections on humanity, random news & my life."

Random musings on a writer's life and times.

Barbara Flaska's compilation of the best online articles about music and culture.

Write Of Way
Samantha Blackmon's written musings on writing (composition and rhetoric).

Alexander b. Craghead: blog
Writing, photography, and watercolors.

Rodney's Painted Pen
Rodney Bohen's daily commentary "on the wondrous two legged beast we fondly refer to as mankind." His pen runneth over.

Frustrated Writer
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scribble, scribble, scribble
Journalist Dale Keiger teaches nonfiction scribbling to undergraduate and graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

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The official blog of science fiction / horror author Terence West.

William Gibson Blog
Famed author of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay.

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Joe Clifford Faust's "blog of a working writer: tracking writing projects, musings on the creative process, occasional side trips into music, media, politics, religion, etc."

A Writer's Diary
By Cynthia Harrison, who has the good sense to quote Virginia Woolf: "The truth is that writing is the profound pleasure and being read the superficial."

Bow. James Bow.
The journal of James Bow and his writing.

Michael Montoure's weblog about writing, primarily horror and speculative fiction.

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Modem Noise
By Adrian Bedford, a "fledgling Pro SF Writer, living in Perth, Australia."

"A wry writerly blog named in honour of a minor character in a minor Shirley Temple film."

Real Writers Bounce
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2020 Hindsight
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downWrite creative
Phil Houtz's notes on the writing life.

Vivid: pieces from a writer's notebook
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Momoka writes short stories.

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Plays and Musicals -- A Writer's Introspective
A blog by John D. Nugent - Composer, Playwright, and Artistic Director of the Johnson City Independent Theatre Company

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"Never has any people endured its own tragedy with so little sense of the tragic." Essays by Mark W. Anderson.

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Official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

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'Plaint of the Playwright
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Glenn's adventures in screenwriting.

Time In Tel-Aviv
Hebrew modern literature at its best, by Corinna Hasofferett.

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Robin Reagler's poetry blog.

John Baker's Blog
Author of the Sam Turner and Stone Lewis novels.

The Writing Life With Dorothy Thompson
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A writing journal.

The Writing Life
A blog by Katey Schultz.

It Beats Working 9-5
A screenwriting blog by a young Canadian screenwriter.

Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God
Writer & Artist, Dee Rimbaud reflects upon politics, religion, art, poetry, the meaning of life, the nature of God and why toast always lands butter side down on carpets.

Robert Peake
Heart and Mind, Fully Engage ... a poet's website.

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The Writing Life...
"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."
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A friend over beer, Berkeley, winter, 1959

"And it came to pass that all the stars in the firmament had ceased to shine. But how was anyone to know?"
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The Writing Life II

(Posts archived here are from 01/10/03 - 10/31/06)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005  
Recent reading
The Lucifer Principle: A scientific expedition into the forces of history

by Howard Bloom

After half a century of studying history as an amateur, I've come to this conclusion: civilization plants the seed of its own destruction as it becomes more advanced. This seed is an aversion to war. As we become more "human," we see war as counter-productive. However, less advanced societies do not believe this, and so an advanced civilization reaches a point where it cannot defend itself against "the barbarians," those foreign and less advanced cultures that are poor, hungry, focused, militant -- and want something the advanced civilization possesses. So one civilization falls and gets replaced by another.

What I like about Bloom's book is that it supports this thesis, and more "depressing" ones, with abundant evidence. Excerpts:

Hegel, the nineteenth-century German philosopher, said that true tragedy occurs not when good battles evil, but when one good battles another. Nature has made that form of tragedy a basic law of her universe. She presents her children with a choice between death and death. She offers a carnivore the options of dying by starvation or killing for a meal.

Despite the opinions of Montaigne, Rousseau, and their contemporary followers, modern civilization is not the generator of violence. Nor is brutality limited to the "patriarchal" male. The creator of human savagery is Nature, who works her ways through brain segments bequeathed to both men and women by our animal ancestors. Ironically, it is female aggression that gives the greatest clue as to why nature has found conflict so indispensable. Creatures of every species fight for the privilege of procreation. They battle to immortalize the replicators at their core.

The lesson: Never forget the pecking order's surprises. Today's superpower is tomorrow's conquered state. Yesterday's overlooked mob is often the ruler of tomorrow. Never underestimate the third world. Never be complacent about barbarians.

No one stays on top of the pecking order forever. This is a difficult lesson to learn. Debate is a necessity, but if it becomes irrational, violent, and blind to the menaces beyond our borders, it can drown us as surely as it did the Byzantines.

Evil: A Primer

by William Hart

A broad introduction to theories of evil over the centuries. Excerpts:

Wherever one ends up in this debate, evolutionary psychology poses a stiff challenge to traditional notions of evil. Wilson even says that "the choice between transcendentalism and empiricism will be the coming century's version of the struggle for mens souls." Maybe. But dwelling on that cosmic level, it's tempting to see EP as the apple in the Garden of Eden, the "knowledge of good and evil" that Yahweh forbade the first humans, the ultimate knowledge for which Faust sold his soul and that religions for centuries fought so bitterly to suppress -- and it's no wonder they did.

But before you start scrambling up the Tree of Knowledge after that apple, note that the belief in natural selection as the source of "evil" is ultimately scarier than Satan. Old Hairy, at least, is a familiar foe who I know is going to lose in the end. And his very existence, however troublesome, testifies to the existence of a cosmic moral order that undergirds every soul, living or dead, and that promises an ultimate accounting. Satan, in other words, helps reassure us that yes, there is someone or something out there behind the sky. Evolutionary psychology offers no such reassurance.

6/14/2005 10:08:00 AM | 0 comments

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