When nothing else matters

Hello. My name is Mary, and I am a recovering anthropologist. It’s been over 20 years since I worried about tenure, but I suppose I will always be an anthropologist. As Ray Bucko, my dearest Jesuit friend, once told me, “Having a Ph.D. is a permanent condition – like the Catholic priesthood. Or herpes.” Anthropologists … Read more…

Writer Tech: “That which is measured, improves.”

Not sure we really need the comma in that quote, but that’s how Pearson’s Law is written in business and engineering circles. The saying was popularized by Peter Drucker, a business consultant who was particularly influential in Japan, where implementing Pearson’s Law was given credit for spectacularly improved productivity during the 1980s. For a writer, … Read more…

Writer Tech: quoting sources in historical fiction

Yesterday an email came in asking me a technical question about writing historical fiction about a real person. “My subject wrote an autobiography in the 1940s…. How does one handle first-person material without plagiarizing? If your subject recounts a conversation, can you paraphrase that conversation? If you rewrite the conversation with different words, are you … Read more…