He’s feared. He’s unlikeable, even loathed. Yet he’s going to be elected.

by Hyphenman on Jun 17, 2016

This is a radical departure for me and for this blog. Hyphenman over the years has resisted the temptation to write about anything except writing and editing. Until now.

That’s because there has never been a presidential candidate like Donald Trump. Until now.

I am primarily a liberal, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, a liker of Hillary Clinton. I despise the Tea Party and particularly the neo-Nazi Paul Ryan.

But I plan on voting for Donald Trump.

Many of my reasons coincide with the electorate at large. Many of them don’t.

What primarily prompts me to come to Trump’s defense is the biased, one-sided, and all-out hateful coverage of MSNBC, which is normally my favorite news station.

But in covering Trump – in savaging him and distorting his words at every turn – MSNBC has proven to be as despicable and unfair as Fox News.

Take his stance on Muslims, a view he has modified over the course of the campaign. Rather than an outright ban, which he originally proposed and which would never fly anyway, he has proposed screening the ones who apply for admission to the United States.

So where’s the harm? Every terrorist killer, with the notable exception of cuckoo Timothy McVeigh, who has inflicted death and destruction on this country has been a Muslim. We invite more calamity and more tragedy if we DON’T screen them.

Compare that to Hillary Clinton’s “solution.” She wants to embrace all Muslims with open arms, work with them, make them feel like a vital part of America, then elicit their help to ferret out the suspicious and dangerous ones in their ranks.

Fine. But has that worked? Have we ever had a government policy that singled out and discriminated against Muslims? Have we ever gotten help from them in locating suspected terrorists? [read more]

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Humor could be the cure for whatever ails your novel – no kidding

by Hyphenman on Feb 04, 2016

Humor often pops up in life unexpectedly and even surreptitiously. That’s how it ought to be in your novel.

Some people think their story is too serious, too grounded in tragedy, too full of misfortune to leave any room for humor. Shakespeare didn’t think so. He punctuated his tragedies with humor, sometimes all-out hilarity.

Humor is a powerful device. It not only can offer comic relief but advance a plot and develop characters.

If you can master laugh-out-loud humor, you’ve created a visceral reaction to your words. That, in turn, builds an indelible bond between your story and characters and the reader’s mind. What could be better?

How on Earth, you might wonder, do you master it?

The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. The bad news is that it’s still difficult.

Look at what makes us laugh. The antics of a pet or a child can crack us up. So can a good joke. What else? [read more]

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