Our “Basic Human Needs”

This was shared with me by my wife, who saw it someplace. It is simply too good not to pass on. It's "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" .... uh, modernized: Offered here with no further comment .... except for a 😉 Now, back to work. Time for us all to stop messing around on the internet! [...]


Some blog "housekeeping" to note. I have updated - mostly, added - to my two earliest "character snapshots": those of Virginie and Valérie. Compared to the more recently composed ones, as the "snapshots" idea has "evolved" in my head I have believed those two were "lacking." I felt they needed more details. So I've now [...]

Passage Of Time

Don't mind me. It's Sunday. I'm just thinking out loud here a bit (yet again). 🙂 A year ago, as I was writing, I had a different chapter opening the book. But I changed my mind on its use there. Published, that chapter - reworked somewhat - appears deeper in the story. I had thought [...]

Quick Take 6: “Mark”

Much as we first learn of the existence of Valérie due to an offhanded comment, a "Mark" is mentioned early in the story. As with Valérie, that reference to Mark won't be the last we hear of him.... __________ James is an only child. But he has close friends. By far the best is Mark: [...]

When “I’ll Write Soon” Meant Actually Writing

CNN quoting first lady Michelle Obama in Beijing earlier this week, praising studying abroad as "citizen diplomacy": "I'm here today because I know that our future depends on connections like these among young people like you across the globe," the first lady told an audience composed of Chinese and international students at Peking University. "We [...]

Quick Take 5: “James” (Where It All Starts)

We are dropped into their lives initially in a University of Long Island (ULI) classroom on a warm September Thursday in 1994. Any of us may find ourselves luckily in the right place at the right time. James believes that, for him, this is one of those times.... __________ Just turned 29, and having decided [...]

UPDATE: That “Fifty Shades” Post

I'm sure this short update will be the highlight of your Wednesday. 😉 A screening of scenes from that film is reported in the Guardian today. Apparently it is looking like it may turn out to be, one might say, uh, Fifty Shades... of "Tame."

Mood Music

Regardless of whether one is writing history or penning a novel, when delving into the past achieving "authenticity" is absolutely necessary. It is vital to fix your readers firmly on that era. The goal of course is to try to bring it to life within your pages as best you can. As we know, there [...]

Spouse Or Country?

International marriages have become pretty ho-hum in the last two decades or so. My (English) wife and I have laughed with two sets of Danish/English married friends about how there also appears to be something between Danes and the English. 😉 In their cases, the women are sisters who both married English men. One couple [...]

Back To The Routine

Yes, I am becoming more and more like my uncle.... ....Uh, to clarify, I mean only in the writing routine's sense! 😉 Full-time authoring is work as assuredly as any other job. Even if you can't think of a blessed thing to write that day, sit down in "your office" and force yourself to write [...]

Pen Names: Our Secret Identity

We know it is commonplace. If you write, you may well do so under a pen name. "R. J. Nello" is mine. And social media is vital in authoring nowadays. I use Twitter and this blog, which are entirely my "published persona." However, I cannot readily use Facebook because of that pen name. Yes, I [...]

Bottom Places

I''ve shared my personal "top places" list. We all like to talk "best." When we travel, we tend not to seek out "the worst." But what about "bottom places"? Uh, I knew you'd ask that. 😉 A "bottom" issue is one to be approached cautiously. We know there are "bottom" areas in any major city. [...]

Top Places

We all have destinations we like. But settling systematically on a list of cities/ locales we've visited/ lived that we like the most? That may not be all that easy. Restricting my own list to those outside of my country of birth, following a bit of reflection (over a cup of coffee this morning), and [...]

Catskills Moonset

How about a photo to start the day? The Moon was up all night and brightly, into early daylight: In the foreground, I happened to catch the top of our water well cap. It had been totally buried. Lots of the "here and there" snow has melted, but the skiing is still good. Ski Windham [...]

U.S. Diplomacy: 1793 v. 2014

First, a brief recollection of an infamous early event in U.S. diplomatic history. In 1793, while William Short and Gouverneur Morris were negotiating in France and Spain, across the Atlantic the (mis)behaviors of one Edmond-Charles Genêt were besetting the new American republic at home. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, France's representative in the U.S.: ....soon exceeded [...]