A few words on writing

That is all.

What do documentarians do?

Some people who write documentation call themselves documentarians (6 syllables), leading me to conclude that they produce documentaries and like to use long words.

To say they are documenters (4 syllables) would be more concise. What they do is document stuff.

I generally use writer. ~ B.J.



Giving away a story of dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease

If you read to the bottom of my previous post, you might be surprised to learn that there is one book I am more than happy to just give to anyone who might find it useful.


Miles to Go: An Alzheimer Journal is free for the next few days on Amazon. Beyond that, since the platform limits how long I can offer it for nothing, it’s the minimum of $.99. Anyone who wants the book but doesn’t like buying online can just ask me for a PDF any time using this simple form.

I initially published the whole thing on a previous blog so anyone who came across it could read freely. Having it on Amazon makes it possible to reach more people.

Since the scourge of Alzheimer’s Disease remains an awful reality for so many, I hope others can learn from my family’s experience, as did the reader who included this in an online review:

“I even took notes because the emails showed subtle changes that many other family members could not see and yet is what everyone in this type of situation is going through.”


Grab that book while it’s free

You haven’t read Blood Solutions, the first Detective Red Shaw crime novel? Grab the ebook FREE on Amazon on Sunday, March 4, and read it before the next book is out.

Be one of the first to know when that new one is ready. Join the mailing list!

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Note to self: Good job of fighting through that thing you’ve got about not giving good stuff away.

Me: Thanks, but it ain’t gonna happen very often, that’s for damn sure.

When will the new Detective Red Shaw novel be ready to read?

I’ve predicted the completion of my new foray into crime fiction and missed the mark more times than I care to admit, so I will be rather vague this time:

It gets closer to finished every day. (Everything gets closer to finished every day, right?)

The manuscript simmered like a turkey neck on the back burner for far too long between intermittent bursts of minimal progress. No excuses. Just ask me how I deal with writer’s block.

After all that simmering, I turned up the heat on North of Grand (still working title). It really is getting closer to done every day. I promise.

Be one of the first to know when the next Detective Red Shaw novel is ready to read.

Join the mailing list!


The first Red Shaw book is on Amazon.

Click the cover to buy the book.

Columnist’s phony ‘compromise offer’ to the politically correct

Accusing the Denver Post of pandering by proxy to the ignorant, intolerant right end of the political spectrum by publishing pieces like this one by Jon Caldara might be a bit of a stretch, but what the hell.

As a writer and editor myself, I would demand better of a person who identifies as “a Denver Post columnist.” I would expect a columnist to have a better understanding of the importance of words than Caldara exhibited in his “compromise offer.”

No one is “mandated” to use what he derisively calls “politically correct terms.” In our still free society, we can learn to respect others’ wishes regarding how they prefer to be identified, or we can be like Caldara: Insult them as hyper-sensitive snowflakes and whine like a spoiled child about how many syllables they expect us to use.

I know Caldara didn’t really intend to reach out to anyone with his phony compromise. Some years ago I edited nationally syndicated opinion columns, so I’m familiar with some of their devices. He used “sincere” when he meant “insincere.” He proposed to make a deal with the imaginary “PC” monolith that the right so loves to hold up to ridicule. He tried to use his son, his “Downs kid,” to gain some sympathy and score anti-PC points.

Jon, here’s the same question I asked you on Twitter: How many syllables in “libertarian-conservative”? Probably way too many by your standards, but if that’s how you identify, stick with it.

Dear Denver Post, I think I’ll go with “pandering by proxy” after all. You can do better.

“Good content can’t be free”

That’s a direct quote from an opinion piece by Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky. It ran a few days ago in the Denver Post, which I read both in print and online. I pay for it.

In the context of Bershidsky’s piece, I could not agree more. He writes about the trend toward paywalls that real news organizations use to get paid. The jury is still out on how well that will work out, but news consumers will pay and should pay for good, trustworthy reporting.

I also could not agree more with his statement in another context: News organizations and others that charge for their content or that generate ad revenue by providing content should pay the people who write it.

Good content can’t be free.

Bershidsky points out that the Huffington Post, which has a history of getting something for nothing from gullible writers, has “scaled back its platform for unpaid bloggers.” That’s a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough.

I don’t imagine the Huffington Post cares, since it is on the receiving end of a content giveaway, but writers who donate their work to help such companies make a profit demean themselves. They also drive down compensation and dry up opportunities for professional writers, freelance and otherwise. (Much of what they give away is crap, too. It’s true that you get what you pay for.)

Until such platforms for unpaid bloggers are gone, or those bloggers stop giving their work away, I won’t be reading anything that companies like the Huffington Post publish. Neither should you.