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Donna Volkenannt
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Interview with Sarah Angleton, the Practical Historian
For the past few years, Sarah Angleton has been a valued
member of Coffee and Critique, where she has shared her stories, wit, and wisdom
with her fellow writers. Photo courtesy of Sarah Angleton Sarah is a storyteller and history buff who has degrees in

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Writing to Heal
One way I’m coping with breast cancer—and the side effect of
chemo brain, which causes forgetfulness and muddy thinking—is to write.   I’ve been encouraged to journal and have received several
journals as gifts (like the one on the left) from friends, but I...

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With A Lot of Help From my Friends
A week ago last Tuesday, my friends showered me with love, words of encouragement,  prayers, and surprise gifts. Their generosity and thoughtfulness brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of the Beatle's melody, "I'll get by with a little help my friends,...

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RIP - Rock In Peace, Chuck Berry
I was saddened, but not totally surprised, to hear the news
that St. Louis legendary music icon Chuck Berry passed away on Saturday. Chuck Berry was 90 when he died in St. Charles County, Missouri, the same county where I
live—about fifteen miles from my ho...

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Dave Barry on Writing, Editing, Publishing, and Judging the Erma Bombeck Contest
This past weekend I caught an in-depth interview with C-SPAN's Book TV , featuring Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Dave Barry, one of our nation's premiere humor writers. As usual, Dave was funny and entertaining, but he also offered some helpful advice ab...

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When PC Language Creeps into Historical Fiction
When I heard the historical fiction novel Lincoln in the Ba r do by George Saunders was about to be published, my sister and I hurried to the library and put our names on the reserve list. Lincoln in the Bardo  is set during the American Civil War in 1862 a...

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Beating the Beast
Some of my friends already know what's been going on with me lately, but for those who don't, I thought I'd post about why I'll be taking a break from blogging. Last month I went in for a mammogram, and a few days later I got "the call." It was definitely n...

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The Changing Face of Libraries
My, how libraries have changed over the years! What used to be quiet places to check out books and read in silence, are now hubs for socialization and a variety of activities. My local St. Charles City-County Library (Spencer Road Branch) has something goin...

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Dixon Hearne on "Setting as Character"
I'm pleased today to have acclaimed author Dixon Hearne as my guest blogger to speak about "Setting as Character." His works have been published widely, with his most recent, Delta Flats, published by Amphorae Publishing Group . Photo courtesy of author Dix...

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May Your Soul Rest in Peace, William Peter Blatty
I was sad to hear the news that author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty died yesterday at the age of 89. His novel, The Exorcist , was one of the most frightening books I've ever read, and the movie of the same name gave me chills.  Note: While the settin...
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