Archive - February 2010

1
Why You Can Get Published!
2
Review of Yaron Glazer (Panama 1997-99) Islands of Shadow, Islands of Light
3
Writing Your Book Is Just The First Step
4
Fulbright Program Looking For Peace Corps Writers And Professors
5
100 Days (Or Less) Part Fourteen:Day Nine
6
Review of Toby Lester (Yeman 1988-90) The Fourth Part of the World
7
New Film On JFK Changes Peace Corps History
8
Peace Corps At Day One: #12 The Very First PCV
9
Sally Collier (Ethiopia 1962–64)
10
Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966–68)

Why You Can Get Published!

Last month (1/30/2010) there was a great article in The Wall Street Journal  entitled, “The Death of the Slush Pile” by Kathrine Rosman. It told of the depressing straits in publishing, how an unknown–unless extremely lucky–can’t  find a publishers. No publishing house is reading unsolicited manuscripts. Most film producers won’t read anything that comes from a new writers, unless they have an agent. Why? Well, film and television executives are afraid of being sued for plagiarism. There is the 1990 case where Art Buchwald sued Paramount, alleging that the studio took his idea and turned it into the movie, “Coming to America.” Also publishers and movie executives say they can’t avoid to hire young college graduates to read through the mail. And since 9/11 and the aftermath, remember the anthrax scares? Well, everyone is afraid to open the mail. It doesn’t get any easier (getting published) at place where unsolicited work is read. The . . .

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Review of Yaron Glazer (Panama 1997-99) Islands of Shadow, Islands of Light

Jack Niedenthal is the Trust Liaison for the People of Bikini Atoll.  He has lived in the Marshall Islands for almost 30 years.  His wife is a Bikinian islander, they have 5 children and one grandchild.  He is the author of one book, For the Good of Mankind:  An Oral History of the People of Bikini Atoll and their Islands, and is the director/writer/producer of 2 full-length feature films in the Marshallese language, Ña Noniep and Yokwe Bartowe. http://www.bikiniatoll.com/host.html  Jack Niedenthal (Marshall Island 1981-84) When an ex-Peace Corps Volunteer sets out to write a novel based on his or her Third World experiences they are faced with some perplexing artistic and humanistic challenges:  How does one describe a tremendously unique series of events from ones own life so that others might participate in those feelings and understand those encounters, and moreover, translate, interpret, and describe a strangely foreign culture well . . .

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Writing Your Book Is Just The First Step

It takes more than prose to get your book published. First, there is the competition, other writers who have written books they want to sell. For example, more than 5,000 students graduate every year from creative writing programs. Most, if not all of them, have collections of stories or a novels ready to be sent to an agent. Any agent. On top of that you have all those would-be writers who attend literary festivals and conferences all summer long. Plus, and let’s not forget, those silent novelists steadily (we might add cunningly, too) writing away in  backrooms of homes somewhere in the world, churning out stories while living in garrets, hovels, or Third World countries. You can’t stop anyone who wants to write. Writing a book, however, is the easy part. You write your book on your own, at your own pace, enjoying (for the most part) the process of creating on paper, or on . . .

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Fulbright Program Looking For Peace Corps Writers And Professors

Gary L. Garrison (Tunisia 1966-69) the Assistant Director, Asia, of the Institute of International Education dropped me a note to let me know of “opportunities for international teaching and research available in the Fulbright Scholar Program during the 2011-12 academic year.  Open to writers, college and university faculty and independent professionals, the program seeks qualified candidates to teach in higher education institutions in countries worldwide. We value the experience and expertise of former Peace Corps Volunteers who wish to participate in another great international program, the Fulbright Program.  Writers have held teaching or research awards in recent years in places such as India, Korea, Philippines, Lesotho, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Romania, Russia, Hungary, Brazil, Colombia and many others.  I hope your Peace Corps writers (and teachers) will consider joining them as Fulbright Scholars.” You can check by countries at http://catalog.cies.org/index.aspx. The Fulbright Scholar Program and Fulbright Humphrey Fellowship Program are administered by . . .

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100 Days (Or Less) Part Fourteen:Day Nine

Day Nine 1. Write. 2. Write more. 3. Write even more. 4. Write even more than that. 5. Write when you don’t want to. 6. Write when you do. 7. Write when you have something to say. 8. Write when you don’t. 9. Write every day. 10. Keep writing. Brian Clark www.copyblogger.com You now have made: A commitment to writing your book Developed a working schedule Know what your story is Have developed a number of characters Thought of a plot of the entire story Have a short narrative of what your book is about Take the day off. This is the first of the Coyne Holidays. Time to let your book brew in your subconscious while you decide if you want to continue the course, invest money and yourself in How To Write A Novel In 100 Days or Less. To help you decide, I am including now a . . .

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Review of Toby Lester (Yeman 1988-90) The Fourth Part of the World

Reviewer David A. Taylor is the author of three books, including Ginseng, the Divine Root, winner of the 2007 Peace Corps Writers Award for Travel Writing, and Success: Stories, a fiction collection finalist in the Library of Virginia’s 2009 Literary Awards. His recent book is Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America, selected as a Best Book of 2009 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He wrote and co-produced a documentary film of Soul of a People, nominated for a 2010 Writers’ Guild award. Here David reviews Toby Lester’s The Fourth Part of the World • The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America Its Name by Toby Lester (Yemen 1988–90) Free Press $30.00 2009 Reviewed by David A. Taylor (Mauritania 1983–85) In The Fourth Part of the World, Toby Lester (Yemen . . .

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New Film On JFK Changes Peace Corps History

According to a front page article in The New York Times this morning there is a new mini-series about John F. Kennedy’s presidency being written for the History channel, and while there is no cast or footage yet, those who know anything about JFK want the script stopped.  The reason being, they say, the “Kennedys” screenplays contain many factual errors, some benign, some outrageous.” For example, one mistake that hits close to home to all of us is that the script has President Kennedy introducing the Peace Corps during the Bay of Pigs crisis in April 1961, when in fact JFK signed an executive order creating the agency one month earlier. The mini-series, called “The Kennedys,” is being produced by  Joel Surnow, a political conservative. Kennedy scholars say the script offers a portrait of the president and his  family that is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, a hatchet job. Mr. Kronish, the script writer, says that some factual details, like . . .

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Peace Corps At Day One: #12 The Very First PCV

Within the RPCV crowd from those early days there is a lot of joshing about who was first in Training, first in-country, first on the job. Mostly the discussion (argument?) goes on with RPCV from Ghana, Tanganyika, Colombia, and the Philippines. (The rest of us couldn’t care less.) But for the record: Colombia I started Training on 6/25/61 (48 Trainees) Tanganyika on 6/25/61 (35 Trainees) Ghana on 7/2/61 (51 Trainees) Nigeria I on 7/24/61 (39 Trainees) Nigeria II on 9/18/61 (24 Trainees) Nigeria III on 9/20/61 (45 Trainees) Sierra Leone on 11/7/61 (32 Trainees) Philippines I on 7/13/61 (272 Trainees in 4 Training Projects) Philippines II on 8/25/61 Philippines III on 12/7/61 Philippines IV on 3/29/62 Thailand on 10/9/61 (45 Trainees) Chile on 7/20/61 (45 Trainees) St. Lucia on 8/1/61 (15 Trainees) India on 10/1/61 (26 Trainees) Pakistan-West 9/15/61 (28 Trainees) Pakisten-East 8/30/61 (29 Trainees) Malaya I 10/16/61 (67 Trainees) We also know that . . .

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Sally Collier (Ethiopia 1962–64)

Monday, November 21 8:00 pm I served with the Peace Corps as a music teacher in Ethiopia with the first group to go there, from 1962-64. I lived in Addis Ababa with four other young women. Our house was termed “Debutante Hill” by our would-be humorous friends. My roommates included Mo, the daughter of a Chicago Irish policeman, Sylvia, an Italian-American, who when asked one day how she was, said, “Oh, so and so,” Peggy who was in seven Land-Rover accidents during her two-year stint (no one wanted to fly home on the same plane with her), and Stephanie who laughed on a perfect C- scale, always us. My roommates were fresh out of college; I was 25 – an older woman. I probably should have been wiser for my extra four years of living, but my real education had only begun. It began the day I received the invitation . . .

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Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966–68)

Monday, November 21 5:57 pm In November of 1963 I came to Washington to say farewell to Jack Kennedy. I came here with hundreds of thousands of people, and we stood in lines that stretched for countless Washington blocks through the cold November night. We walked slowly for hours toward the Capital, and along the way we met friends and relatives, brothers and sisters whom we had never met before, whom we would never meet again. We had come from all directions, along roads filled with hitchhikers carrying signs that said simply “Washington,” and we stopped and picked them up, carried them forward in our slow and silent and subdued tide. Through the long night, we were the American people, assembled to pay honor to our fallen leader, Jack. The lines of mourners entered the Capitol from the east, and there were placed the flowers sent by many nations, and . . .

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