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Saturday, November 25, 2017

95 results for 'Shane Joseph'

Is the (good) book review dead?

By Shane Joseph, published on Jun 11, 2013

What is the value of a book review today– can it be trusted? On the surface, it’s one person’s subjective (and sometimes biased) view on a text. Why read it unless that person’s tastes are similar to yours and unless the reviewer has no vested interest in the author’s financial fortune?

I realized that the reviews I was reading in newspapers and journals had gradually morphed into unsubtle sales messages for the books they were covering. I concluded therefore, that the serious impartial reviewer had gone the way of the dodo bird, replaced by the “mutual admiration society”—aka writers... (more)

Tags: writer, book review, books, author, reviews

The Aging Male Writer and his Vanishing Audience

By Shane Joseph, published on May 26, 2013

This is a controversial subject. Let me make that clear at the outset. And I apologize in advance if I come across as that typecast "male, chauvinist p—"; that is certainly not my intention. But as I am one among this soon-to-be-extinct species, I thought I would get my thoughts on paper before the opportunity lapses.

Once upon a time, the majority of writers were men. Profligate and prodigious, they wrote on topics of adventure, war, espionage, crime, love and even ventured into poetry and literary fiction. This breed of writer was objectified as the epitome of the writing life. They... (more)

Tags: aging, writer, kerouac, male, hemingway, fitzgerald, miller, rowling, updike, bellow, irving, roth, bolano

The Anthology Editor - a rising player

By Shane Joseph, published on May 1, 2013

As writers struggle for a spot in the literary limelight, as traditional magazines and publishing houses discard box loads of submissions, and as supply outstrips demand at increasingly higher rates, there is a niche player ascending like a Phoenix, one who may offer relief, especially to new writers in search of a publishing credit: the anthology editor.

Anthologies have existed for a long time but they hitherto focussed on the “best of the best” work that had already been published elsewhere. The new kind of anthology that I am referring to is made up of the work of writers who (a)... (more)

Tags: publishing, authors, anthology, publishers, brand, editor

A good story will be told – ultimately!

By Shane Joseph, published on Apr 14, 2013

Writing gurus advise us not to despair when rejection slips pile up; they urge us to keep going back to the well and digging deeper until a real gem pops out, for after all, “a good story must be told.” After a while, this sounds like a feel-good-ism to sooth the battered writer toiling away into insanity and an early death. It is tempting to say, “Stuff the gurus,” to stash the pen, switch off the computer and take up golf. But something happened to me a couple of years ago to reinforce the sage message that perhaps a good story will be told, even after 30 years.

Back in 1980, when... (more)

Tags: novel, writing, orphan, tourism, story, stories, travels, forever, told

Travel is Education

By Shane Joseph, published on Apr 9, 2013

Someone told me that with Google Earth, Wikipedia and other instant information tools readily at our fingertips these days, there was no longer a need to travel to foreign places to get a sense of culture, language, food, geography and all the other elements that a trip outside of one’s physical boundaries provide. While armchair travelling has never had it better, I beg to differ with these pundits of inertia.

I recently wrote a novel set in a part of France I had never visited (my travels in that country up to that point had been limited to Paris and environs). With the assistance... (more)

Tags: france, education, novel, travel, cities, tourism, wikipedia, google, costa rica, countries, metz, strasbourg, nicaragua, south africa. cape town

Do titles sell books?

By Shane Joseph, published on Apr 3, 2013

I know that covers sell books, well, at least for now, before e-books run us over, but do titles do the same? Is it best to plagiarize an existing best-selling title, and modify it a bit to ensure that unintended searches will unearth your book and present it to an unsuspecting reader? I had some unasked-for success when my novel After the Flood came out in 2009, a few months after a more famous book called The Year of the Flood; readers kept sending me e-mails from around the world congratulating me on the great reviews the other Flood book was receiving. And, I did not plagiarize titles here,... (more)

Tags: books, publishers, flood, titles, hemingway, wattpad

Big Hairy Audacious Dreaming

By Shane Joseph, published on Mar 23, 2013

When the white smoke billowed in St. Peter’s Square, concluding one of the oldest spectator sports (until the next conclave), and when the humble man dressed in plain white raised only one hand to the masses on what was the greatest day in his life, I knew that something different was in the works.

Will Francis follow the way of his predecessor from Assisi? Can the meek and humble lead the political and conniving? Even Jesus tried and paid for it with his life. The Church has been described in many ways, and the one that sticks in my mind is, “It’s like concrete, all mixed up and fixed... (more)

Tags: christians, church, catholic, hand, francis, st. peter's, square, big, hairy, audacious, conclave, assisi, non-believer

Declining Corporate Skills – part 2

By Shane Joseph, published on Mar 2, 2013

I blogged on this subject recently, but thought it worth revisiting as new material keeps coming up. I spoke to a twenty-something the other day, who worked in a call centre of one of our large communications companies. I was shocked to hear of what went on in those concrete cages around which ambulances hovered daily, anxious to take the fallen away and hide the evidence of gladiators hurt in combat.

It’s all about numbers: average handling time AHT (low), number of retained customers (high), amount of customer revenue earned (high), number of new products cross-sold (high), number... (more)

Tags: corporate, cartoon, employees, concentration camps, skills, aht, dilbert, employers

Go to the People? Tom, are you kidding?

By Shane Joseph, published on Feb 18, 2013

I recently read an article by respected journalist and author Thomas L Friedman in which he advocates that the incoming Secretary of State break all the rules of diplomacy, leverage social networks and go direct to the people of foreign states, and have them agitate for change over the heads of their leaders. At first thought, this looked like a breakthrough idea; then I got nervous when I considered the consequences.

I have been a great fan of Mr. Friedman, reading most of his books and articles. I admire his travels through hostile regions of the world and his powers of observation.... (more)

Tags: america, world, state, secretary, democratic, diplomacy, west, thomas, friedman, flat, wild, civilized, out-of-the-box

Trying to imagine life without social media

By Shane Joseph, published on Feb 3, 2013

I tried to recall life without social media. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when I walked around without a portable device strapped to my waist, a device willing to announce my every grunt, burp and fart to the external world, if I only let it?

Without social media, my concentration would improve, that much I am sure. I would not be constantly interrupting my daily chores to go check that infernal device for the latest chat or inspirational message. My self esteem would mature for I would not have those “likes” to prop me up but would have to “like” myself instead. I could spend many... (more)

Tags: facebook, life, social media, cities, blackberry, behavior, like, device, politician, twitter., always on, going back, klout

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