Author: Connie Berry

Sometimes You Have To Leave Home

Setting can be a character in its own right. It can also be a metaphor. Setting creates a mood, grounds a story in reality, informs the characters, and often determines plot. Think of the wilds of Cornwall in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, or the bleak, treacherous moors in Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles or the Dustbowl of the 1930s in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. These stories couldn’t have happened anywhere else, and the job of the author is to transport their readers to another time and place.

Read More

Is It Time Yet? (When Life Bleeds Into Fiction)

I’ve always loved to read. If a book isn’t handy, I’ll read advertisements or old newspapers—even, in a pinch, the labels on household products. For me, reading is the ultimate relaxation. That’s why my experience this past week was troubling.

Read More

Lessons From the Cafeteria of Life

Long ago in a world that has passed away, I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. In our town was a cafeteria, Bishop’s Buffet. That where I first understood the phrase “your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” I’m experiencing something similar today in my writing.

Read More

Last of the Summer Wine: Why Character Counts

Last of the Summer Wine, the television series about three Yorkshire lads who got old but never grew up aired from 1973 to 2010, an amazing 294 episodes, making it the longest-running scripted sitcom in Britain and the world. That’s impressive.

Read More

Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler

If Raymond Chandler were alive today, he’d be 113. Still, he lives on, not only in his own massive oeuvre but also in the books and short stories of writers who read Chandler and were never the same.

Read More

Have You Read All the Books Yet?

Who was the last person to have read every book in existence? Believe it or not, this is a hotly debated question in certain academic circles. Several names are commonly proposed. ARISTOTLE (384 – 322 BC) The Greek philosopher and scientist is said to have known everything there was to be known in his time. Tutor to the youthful Alexander the Great, Aristotle’s own writings cover a virtual encyclopedia of Greek knowledge. LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452 – 1519) Da Vinci is perhaps history’s most recognizable polymath (Latin for “having learned much”). Painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, Da Vinci’s genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. DESIDERIUS ERASMUS (1466 – 1536) One of the last scholars prior to the impact of the printing press, Erasmus mastered all the European and Scandinavian languages of his day plus Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Erasmus is reputed to have said, “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” JOHN MILTON (1608 – 1674) The English poet is said to have read virtually every book ever written and knew enough about most things to discuss them with authority. […]

Read More

Search By Tags