Archive - April 2012

1
Obama in Cartagena
2
Claim
3
Self-Published Novelist Lands University of Chicago Press Book Deal
4
What Might Have Been: Vice President Harris Wofford
5
Help Make the Peace Corps Film: The Whole of the Moon
6
New Blogger Travis Hellstrom (Mongolia 2008-11)
7
Professional Advice on Writing Your Memoir or Novel
8
Review of Charles G. Blewitt's (Grenada 1969–71) Valley Views II-Four Plays
9
PCVs Recognized in WashPost Op-Ed for Anti-malaria Work
10
February and March 2012 Peace Corps Books

Obama in Cartagena

The President did not meet with the new PCVs while in Colombia this weekend. His trip to Latin America was, as we know, overshadowed by the Secret Service who managed to make the President and the US look bad. The story in Cartagena, I hear from PCVs in-country, is that “Americans came to Cartagena to bed our women.” What the Secret Service agents did not know, I’m also told, is that Cartagena is the capitol of the Transvestite community in Colombia. The in-country joke is that the agents may have had one or more transvestites in their rooms. No wonder they didn’t want to pay the ‘guests’ fees! According to news reports, the agents were “relieved of duty Thursday — prior to the president’s arrival in Colombia.” Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post reporter who has written a book about the Secret Service, called the incident “clearly the biggest scandal in Secret Service history.” . . .

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Claim

Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965–67) writes about his story: For many years I have lived in and written stories about a very impoverished part of America, Michigan’s Copper Country. I’ve written three collections of stories set in the very isolated backwoods community of Misery Bay. “Claim” is set there. The characters are fictional versions of real people from the Copper Country. Their desperate circumstances are, in many ways, not that different from the despairing situations that I found during my Peace Corps service in Nigeria just before and at the birth of Biafra. Claim by Lauri Anderson Am I angry? You’re damned right I am. I’ve watched my life slip toward oblivion on this useless farm at the dead end of a gravel road in the isolation of Misery Bay. Sometimes in summer, weeks go by without a single car or pickup daring our road’s potholes, creating a roiling cloud of . . .

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Self-Published Novelist Lands University of Chicago Press Book Deal

Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02) on the Internet site GalleyCat published this short piece on April 5, 2012 giving all of us self-published writers inspriation. In May, the University of Chicago Press will publish A Naked Singularity, a 700-page debut novel that Sergio De La Pava self-published in 2008 through Xlibris. The story behind the book deal may inspire more literary authors to self-publish. In an email, Chicago Press promotions director Levi Stahl recounted how he discovered the self-published book: Late in 2010 I read a review by Scott Bryan Wilson in the Quarterly Conversation that said the novel was the best he’d read all year, maybe the best of the decade. And that praise, I discovered, had led to other critics picking it up-and they all agreed: it was brilliant, and it was a shame that no publisher had signed it. I got a copy, was blown away, and started rattling cages here at Chicago to . . .

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What Might Have Been: Vice President Harris Wofford

This week on The Daily Beast, political guru Paul Begala, who worked on Harris Wofford’s (Country Director/Ethiopia 1962–64) senatorial campaign in Pennsylvania, and then worked on Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and now teaches at Georgetown and writes political pieces for Newsweek Magazine and  The Daily Beast had an opinion piece on who Romney might pick for his Vice President. Begala writes: “When Bill Clinton was choosing his running mate in 1992, I made a pitch for Senator Harris Wofford a visionary  who had worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Wofford seemed perfect because he would have balanced the ticket, and that’s what conventional wisdom considers most important: Clinton was young, Wofford was older; Clinton was a Southerner, Wofford was from Pennsylvania; Clinton was a governor, Wofford served in Congress; Clinton was a Protestant, Wofford was a Catholic; Clinton was a moderate, Wofford was a liberal. But Clinton was . . .

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Help Make the Peace Corps Film: The Whole of the Moon

Back in mid-March we wrote about a Peace Corps film under production entitled, The Whole of the Moon (You can read about it here: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/a-peace-film/ We have been in touch with Charles Portney (Zaire 1988-90) who is making the film. Portney was a PCV in the fisheries program. After coming home, he spent many years working in film/video production including on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Return of the King as Production Manager for the music department. He wrote and directed the classic short film The Shop Below the Busy Road which screened at South by Southwest, Madrid Int’l, Black Mariah, San Francisco Int’l. The initial script for this project was finalist in the Nichol Fellowship. He has continued doing volunteer work as well. In 1998 he worked with Mary Knoll Relief Org. In Bangkok, Thailand as an English instructor to refugees from Burma. In 2001-2002 . . .

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New Blogger Travis Hellstrom (Mongolia 2008-11)

We are happy to announce that we will have a new blogger on www. peacecorpsworld.org.  Travis Hellstrom (Mongolia 2008-11) will be blogging at: Unofficial Peace Corps. Travis was a PCV and PCV Leader in Mongolia and a year before he left for Peace Corps he began writing what would become the Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook which he added to here and there for 4 years until, after his 27th month of service in Mongolia, he published it on Amazon.com. The Unofficial Handbook is the only book available which gives 100% of its profits back to Peace Corps projects worldwide.  Travis is also founder of Peace Corps 101,  a worldwide online course led by Peace Corps Volunteers from around the world, which also donates all proceeds back into Peace Corps through the Peace Corps’ Partnership Program and NPCA’S Global Community Fund! After completing his Peace Corps service, Travis published a second book called  Enough and created the websit Advance . . .

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Professional Advice on Writing Your Memoir or Novel

[Adrienne deWolfe is a journalist, award-winning novelist, book writing coach, and a national conference speaker. She came across our website and offered to write a short piece for us about how to write your story. Her website, WritingNovelsThatSell.com, features writing resources, characterization worksheets, online fiction writing courses, and the ongoing blog series, How to Write a Novel: Tips & Best Practices.  Follow Adrienne deWolfe on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ , or subscribe to her newsletter. So, here is what Adrienne has to say to all the writers working on books!] • Write Your Story with Feeling to Make it Memorable By Adrienne deWolfe Whether you are planning to write your personal story as a memoir, or to write a novel based upon your life’s experience, you must find ways to connect with the emotions of your reader if you want your story to be remembered. New writers are often transported by . . .

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Review of Charles G. Blewitt's (Grenada 1969–71) Valley Views II-Four Plays

Valley Views II — Four Plays Charles G. Blewitt (Grenada 1969-71) Uncle Wilson’s Productions 156 pages Paperback $15 2009 Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) READING MORE LIKE SHORT STORIES, the four very brief plays in Charles G. Blewitt’s Valley Views II, all take place in the ‘Great Pocono Northeast’ of Northeastern Pennsylvania, which the author describes in his introduction as being populated by, “…first, second, or third generation descendants of ancestors who had literally been dropped off a bus or a train because they either had relatives living locally or they just didn’t have the fare to go farther.” That said, the people in these plays are familiar to any of us who live in smaller urban areas where socio economic groups and races live uncomfortably side by side. Using the framework of counseling in two of the plays, Blewitt mines those divides for his earnest . . .

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PCVs Recognized in WashPost Op-Ed for Anti-malaria Work

It takes more than a village to fight malaria in Zambia By Michael Gerson Published: April 5 The Washington Post MONGU, Zambia In a global anti-malaria movement I saw begin in Oval Office meetings and international summits, Mongu is at the end of a very long road. Located in western Zambia, about 75 miles from the Angolan border, the town is not close to anywhere. The rivers of the region are more like swamps filling a flood plain, their courses hidden by tall grasses – from the air, wide, serpentine bands of lime green. If rivers are like arteries, these are clogged. Post columnist Michael Gerson and actor Ben Affleck heard tales of atrocities during a visit to the town of Dungu. Standing water breeds mosquitoes, which carry the malaria parasite, which takes the lives of children in seasonal waves. In this part of the world, some parents don’t officially name . . .

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February and March 2012 Peace Corps Books

Valley Views 2: Four Plays by Charles G. Blewitt (Grenada 1969–71) West Wyoming, PA: Uncle Wilson’s Production $ 15.00 156 pages 2009 • Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership For A Multiculural Age by Juana Bordas (Chile 1964–66) Second Edition, Updated and Expanded Berrett-Koehler Publishers $ 22.95 (paperback) 232 pages 2012 • Blaming Japhy Rider: Memoir of a Dharma Bum Who Survived by Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D. (Togo 1978) Balboa Press $17.99 (paperback); $35.95 (hardcover) 248 pages 2012 • Lullaby for the Rain Girl by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988–90) Dark Regions Press $45.00 (hardcover) 341 pages 2012 • The Farther Shore (Short Stories) by Rob Davidson (Grenada 1990–92) Bear Star Press $16.00 (paperback); ; $7.69 (Kindle) 160 pages March 2012 • An Apricot Year (Novel) by Martha Egan (Venezuela 1967–69) Papalote Press $25.95 (hardcover) February, 2012 • Da Vinci’s Ghost by Toby Lester (Yemen 1983–85) Free Press $26.99 (hardcover); $17.99 (audio . . .

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