Mark Coker: How Indie Authors Can Cultivate Superfans (Publishers Weekly)
Finding readers is just the beginning; building relationships with them is what matters.
Jordan Weissmann: A Small Yet Soul-Crushing Illustration of Donald Trump's Utter Economic Illiteracy (Slate)
At some point, it appears Donald Trump heard somebody say that the United States cannot grow as fast as China or Malaysia because we have a "large" economy. No doubt, what they meant is that the U.S. is a highly developed, rich nation and therefore can't expand as quickly as developing countries that can still reap large gains from taking basic steps to improve their living standards. But Trump did not understand it that way.
Wake: 17 Awesome Facts about "Leon: The Professional" (TVOVERMIND)
Just looking at Jean Reno for the first time you wouldn't think that he'd really be the type to play the role of a master assassin, or a cleaner as he liked to call himself. But watching Leon: The Professional
Dwight Garner: On the Touchy Subject of Class in America (NY Times)
In one of his final chapters [in Class, Paul] Fussell posits a way out of the class cages he has so ruthlessly described. You can escape them by becoming what he calls an "X person." He writes: "You earn X-personhood by a strenuous effort of discovery in which curiosity and originality are indispensable."
Tom Danehy: Chris Rock, discos, vertigo, and the death of the love song (Tucson Weekly)
To help make my point, I told them the Chris Rock story about when he was in the club (not the disco) one night. The music was blasting and people were dancing feverishly. He was watching some women dance when he realized that part of the lyrics of the song were a chorus of "Smack that bitch! Smack that bitch!" He asked one of the women who had been dancing, "Doesn't that offend you?" She replied, "No, he's not talking about me."
Suzanne Moore: We accepted homelessness while the rich left houses empty. No more (The Guardian)
To live in a city in England has meant turning a blind eye to the homeless. Grenfell has changed that.
Interviews by Chris Wiegand: "'It was like meeting a cowboy': Ed Harris, Kathy Burke and others remember Sam Shepard" (The Guardian)
Ed Harris played pool with him. Kathy Burke called him to say sorry. He gave Lynn Nottage some 3am advice and watched the chaos of 9/11 with Matthew Warchus. Theatre stars share their encounters with the great playwright.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
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Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
So hot, so humid, so cranky.
Rapper LL Cool J is set to become the first hip-hop artist to be celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors, one of America's top awards in the arts that marks its 40th anniversary this year.
Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan, soul singer Lionel Richie, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade are the other 2017 honorees, organizers announced Thursday.
Lear, a 95-year-old World War II veteran whose sitcoms like "The Jeffersons" and "All in the Family" brought social issues into American living rooms in the 1970s and 1980s, said he was grateful for the award but would not attend.
"It is more important now than ever that we stand up for artists, for artistic expression, and for the valiant fight that artists fight to reveal the wonder and oneness of the human spirit," Lear said in a statement.
The ceremony airs on CBS on December 26.
More To That Story
Statue of Liberty
'The history of the Statue of Liberty became the focus of a back-and-forth between Stephen Miller (R-Testa di Cazzo), an aide to President Donald Trump (R-Stronzo), and CNN's Jim Acosta during the White House Press Briefing on Wednesday.
The broadcast journalist had argued that the President's support of a bill that would place new limits on legal immigration did not jibe with the spirit embodied by the monument, as expressed by the Emma Lazarus poem that has become synonymous with Lady Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor," it famously declares, "Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
"The poem that you're referring to was added later," Miller replied. "It's not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty."
The poem was engraved onto a plaque placed on the pedestal in 1903 - nearly two decades after the statue was unveiled - and that the monument wasn't always associated with immigration.
Originally, the meaning of the monument had more to do with the abolition of slavery than with immigration. In the 1860s, French anti-slavery activist Edouard de Laboulaye had first proposed that France should make a gift of the statue, dubbed "Liberty Enlightening the World" and designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, both to commemorate the alliance between the U.S. and France during the American Revolution and the end of slavery in the U.S. after the Civil War, according to the National Park Service.
It was as a result of the need to fund the pedestal that Emma Lazarus was tapped to write the famous sonnet "The New Colossus" for a Statue of Liberty fundraiser in 1883. Inspired by her work with Russian Jews detained by immigration officials on Ward Island, she included a new facet of liberty in her interpretation of what the statue could mean.
Statue of Liberty
Canceled Next Year
ABC will soon be saying goodbye to one of its longest-running shows, "The Middle."
According to TV Line, the Hecks will be bidding their fans farewell at the end of its upcoming ninth season. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Eileen Heisler revealed that she and her team spoke with the cast of "The Middle" last year to tell them that Season 9 would be the last. "It was important to have a year to say goodbye. We want to be able to tell all the stories," she said.
While the series has received positive reviews, "The Middle" never became as popular as its counterpart, "Modern Family." Both shows are going on their ninth season, which means that they were launched by ABC in the same year. "The Middle" executive producer DeAnn Heline acknowledged the fact that some people know about "The Middle," while there are still those who don't know that the show exists. "If we can be underappreciated for nine years and be on the air, we're lucky," she said.
Meanwhile, Heisler also dished on what's in store for the members of the Heck family in Season 9. "We feel the reception toward our show is positive and kind. We feel proud of what we're doing. In its own way, the show has been recognized even though it's not a ratings magnet. It's very stalwart and steady. We started having an idea a couple of years ago and honed it more in the last year. It will be true to our show. It's an end that fans will like," she said.
Dark Ages Fort
A fort that is more than 1,000 years old, dating back to the time of Alfred the Great, has been unearthed in Scotland, more than 200 years after it was thought to have been completely destroyed.
The ancient fort was built by the Picts, a loose confederation of tribes who lived in what is now Scotland during the Dark Ages. The fort was likely a major source of power for the Pictish kingdom between A.D. 500 and 1000. In the 1800s, a town was built over the ancient stronghold, known as Burghead Fort, and most archaeologists thought the last remaining traces of the fort were destroyed at that time.
However, new archaeological excavations are revealing major structures hidden beneath the town, including a rare coin that dates to the period of English king Alfred the Great.
"Beneath the 19th century debris, we have started to find significant Pictish remains," Gordon Noble, head of archaeology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said in a statement. "We appear to have found a Pictish longhouse. This is important because Burghead is likely to have been one of the key royal centers of Northern Pictland."
Almost nothing survives of the mysterious Pictish culture, including the name they called themselves. The Romans first mentioned the Picts, which means "painted people," likely because of their distinctive tattoos and war paint. However, relatively few Pictish writings survive, and much of what historians know about the Picts' early history comes from the accounts of Roman speechwriters such as Eumenius.
New Chief Scientist Not A Scientist
Department of Agriculture
Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) pick for chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture previously ran a blog where he described progressives as "race traitors" and called former president Barack Obama a "dictator."
Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and right-wing radio talk show host, wrote the blog for his Impact with Clovis show.
He has been criticised for his lack of a scientific credentials and his "scepticism" of climate change.
Although the website has been taken down, archived pages are still available.
According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Department of Agrilcutre defended Clovis, describing him as "a proud conservative and a proud American."
Department of Agriculture
The Secret Service moved its Trump Tower (R-Dump_ command post to a trailer on a Manhattan sidewalk because of a dispute between Donald Trump's (R-Profiteer) company, the Trump Organization, and the US government, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
Citing two people familiar with the discussions, The Post said the dispute involved multiple elements of the lease, including the price.
The federal agency charged with protecting the first family housed supervisors and backup agents in Trump Tower, one floor below the first family's private residence, until last month. Trump Organization spokesperson Amanda Miller told The Post that a "mutual" decision was made to have the Secret Service find space elsewhere.
Trump has not returned to Trump Tower since he was elected, and first lady Melania Trump and the couple's teenage son, Barron, moved out of the building and into the White House in June.
The notion of the Secret Service renting space from the president's private company was met with some criticism shortly after Trump took office, raising questions of potential conflicts of interest concerning a Trump-connected business potentially benefiting from a lucrative government contact.
Ruffled New Hampshire lawmakers were quick to respond Thursday to derisive leaked comments in which Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) referred to the Granite State as a "drug-infested den."
Trump made the comments during a heated Jan. 27 phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in which he fumed over drug cartels bringing illegal substances over the border. He invoked New Hampshire as an example of a place that has endured the brutal effects of the opioid epidemic, calling it a "drug-infested den," according to a newly released transcript of the conversation published by the Washington Post
According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security, Mexican drug cartels make $19 to $29 billion from U.S. drug sales per year. Still, experts say the opioid epidemic is also in large part due to overprescribing of legal opioid medication.
"We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy," the president said in the call, according to the transcript. "I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den."
Trump in fact lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. He won the state in the Republican primary.
Senate Republicans Slowly Turning Their Backs On
There wasn't a dramatic public break or an exact moment it happened. But step by step, Senate Republicans are turning their backs on Donald Trump (R-Corrupt).
They defeated an Obamacare repeal bill despite Trump's pleas. They're ignoring his Twitter demands that they get back to work on the repeal measure. They dissed the White House budget director, defended the attorney general against the president's attacks and passed veto-proof sanctions on Russia over his administration's objections.
They're reasserting their independence, which looked sorely diminished in the aftermath of Trump's surprise election win.
"We work for the American people," Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said Tuesday. "We don't work for the president."
In the most remarkable example of public Trump-bashing, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona is taking aim at the president and his own party in a new book, writing that "unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication" and marveling at "the strange specter of an American president's seeming affection for strongmen and authoritarians."
Taking Extended Vacation
Donald Trump (R-Manbaby) once questioned the wisdom of taking vacations. "What's the point?" he asked.
But now the president is getting ready to join the annual August exodus from the city he calls "the swamp." Trump is due Friday to begin his first extended vacation from Washington since the inauguration: 17 days at his private golf club in central New Jersey.
Trump and his supporters like to publicize his disdain for taking vacations, when the truth is that he takes them constantly.
Actually, Trump gets out of town quite often. So far, he has spent 13 of 28 weekends in office away from the White House, mostly at his properties in Palm Beach, Florida, or in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to an Associated Press count. The figures include a weekend during official travel overseas, and Father's Day weekend at Camp David, the government-owned presidential retreat in Maryland.
Trump said last year that he wouldn't have time for golf if he became president. "I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to go play golf," he told supporters in Virginia. But he plays golf whenever he's at his clubs; sometimes it's the full 18 holes, other times less than that. His staff rarely acknowledges that he plays, even when photos of him on the course pop up on social media.
Robert Hardy, a veteran British stage and screen actor who played Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in the "Harry Potter" movies, has died. He was 91.
Born in 1925, Hardy served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and studied at Oxford University, where he became friends with another aspiring actor, Richard Burton.
He began his career after the war in Shakespearean roles onstage in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Between 1978 and 1990, Hardy played the eccentric veterinarian Siegfried Farnon in "All Creatures Great and Small," a popular TV series based on James Herriot's books about rural life in the Yorkshire Dales.
Hardy played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in at least half a dozen films and TV series, including the miniseries "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years" and "War and Remembrance." He also played U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Churchill's wartime ally, in both British and French TV series.
Hardy is survived by his children Paul, Justine and Emma.