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What Passes For Love: On the Marriage of Leonard and Virginia Woolf

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What Passes For Love: On the Marriage of Leonard and Virginia Woolf

Beth Kephart: Most Writers Could Use an In-House Editor, Business Partner, and Legacy Builder


There are so many takes on the Virginia-Leonard Woolf story that they could consume “Modern Love” for a year. Leonard was androgynous and Virginia preferred women, and yet they married. Leonard was a caretaker and Virginia was fragile, and so they stayed together, she stayed, for the longest time, alive. Leonard was controlling and Virginia felt caged, and yet Leonard allowed Virginia her love affair with Vita and Virginia never doubted that her marriage would go on. Virginia set type, and Leonard machined the pages, and the one of them plus the one of them equaled their famous Hogarth Press. They quarreled and they made up; they fretted and survived; they needed space from each other and missed each other; and when we see them in the pages of Virginia’s diaries, they are sitting together, walking together, reading together, printing together, enduring another war together, heading out for tea after a storm.

What passes for love, what happens between lovers—isn’t it all dandelion seeds brushed loose by a breeze and smoking a trail to the sun?

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Hilary Mantel on How Writers Learn to Trust Themselves -- Via Harpercollins

Hilary Mantel on How Writers Learn to Trust Themselves

“Just write as well as you can.”


Interviews seldom offer the chance to say anything worth hearing, no matter how well-prepared the interviewer. You are invited to rehash your material, saying it again in worse words. “What did you mean when you said….?” etc. Or “Why did you write this book?” It isn’t enough to say that you wrote it because it’s your job and you thought readers would like it.

I once heard Salman Rushdie in discussion on stage in St Louis, and he said that there’s only one question to ask an author. You point to a sentence, and say, “How did that get there?” Then a tale unfolds, the book’s hinterland. You get to see the shadows moving behind the substance.

Discussions with an audience are often more enlightening than interviews. You have witnesses, and parity, and might discover something even as you speak. In press interviews the author feels guarded and wary. And for my part, I don’t feel I am providing value. I just want to get through without being quoted out of context. When you read an interview back, you seldom recognize it as a true account of what passed. It may have been transcribed exactly, but it still misses the bit where you rolled your eyes. Unless it’s on screen, if course—but then there is usually a strict time limit, and constraint and self-consciousness.


What I’d always like to hear about, from other writers, is their beginnings—including the part of their lives before they consciously stated, “I am going to write a book.” I am especially curious about those who, like myself, come from an unliterary background—where a book was the last thing anyone expected from you.

New Album of Pictures from the 2019 PenCraft Awards Ceremony Held at the Golden Nugget Casino.

Last year the PenCraft Awards ceremony was held in the beautiful Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. All of the major winners were able to attend and participate in the event. Our guest of honor was World War II veteran & POW, Gene Metcalfe. He was the subject of author, Marcus A. Nannini's book, Left For Dead at Nijmegen, a fascinating true story about Gene Metcalfe's life and his experience as a prisoner of the Nazis.

The generosity of Mike Fuljenz, The Golden Nugget Casino, Book Nook Inn and the Chamber of Commerce of Lumberton, TX insured that the Metcalfes were taken care of gratuitously in appreciation of Gene's sacrifices as a POW. With the help of these gracious patrons, free transportation, lodging and a royal welcome were provided.  We included a couple pictures of Gene being welcomed at the Book Nook Inn and by Mike Fuljenz and his room at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino.

Won Best book in Non-Fiction


Accepting Award

Lumberton, TX American Legion
honoring Gene Metcalf for his service.

  Mike Fuljenz congratulating Gene.

Gene and his wife at the Golden Nugget
enjoying some wine and sandwiches.


See more pictures from the 2019 Pencraft Awards Ceremony. 

Without Reviews Your Book Is Like A Grain of Sand in the Desert.


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More internet listings on the web about your book and you as an author helps in the discovery of your work and shows potential readers that your book is serious enough to appear under numerous sites

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