Archive - August 2015

1
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, FINAL Lesson # 10
2
Peace Corps Director and Ambassador Birx Discuss the Future of PEPFAR
3
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 9
4
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 8
5
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 7
6
Some Thoughts on the Faith Based Initiative
7
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 6
8
New Books by Peace Corps Writers — July 2015
9
Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 5
10
Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) The Chinese Lingerie Venders of Egypt

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, FINAL Lesson # 10

“Publishing is a fundamentally unpredictable business. Often the only way to find out what will sell or not is by publishing the book.” – James O’Shea Wade, editor In this final lesson we will talk about: The Marketplace You and the Marketplace Your Query Letter Publish Now The Marketplace The type of writing we have been talking about these last ten weeks is “new journalism.” It – as you recall – was developed in the 1960s, but was labeled by TomWolfe in his anthology, The New Journalism, published in 1973. New journalism dethroned the novel as the number one literary genre. At that time a long list of best-selling books were published including In Cold Blood (1965) by Truman Capote, The Armies of the Night (1968) by Norman Mailer, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) by Hunter S. Thompson; and most recently, The Devil in the White City . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Director and Ambassador Birx Discuss the Future of PEPFAR

Peace Corps Volunteers are fighting HIV/AID and winning!  Here is the press release from Peace Corps. “WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2015 – Today Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet welcomed U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, the head of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), for a town hall-style meeting at Peace Corps headquarters. During the discussion, Ambassador Birx and Director Hessler-Radelet spoke of PEPFAR’s progress and reiterated the importance of reaching epidemic control. Ambassador Birx also thanked Peace Corps volunteers for their work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, emphasizing the important role the agency plays in creating sustainable, community-led responses to HIV in countries around the world. “The Peace Corps has been a critical contributor to PEPFAR’s‎ success from the onset of the program,” said Ambassador Birx. “Peace Corps volunteers occupy unique positions of within the communities that they serve, which support PEPFAR’s ability to deliver life-saving . . .

Read More

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 9

“I have no talent. It’s just the question of working, of being willing to put in the time.” — Graham Greene . In this lesson we are concerned with the two final aspects of your book — Climax and Ending. . Climax James Joyce of Ulysses fame said that all short stories moved to what he called an “epiphany.” What Joyce meant was a single, climactic moment of recognition or understanding by the protagonist or the readers. In this “moment of truth,” the protagonist sees himself or herself as he or she really is and faces the truth that results from the complications he has confronted. Even if, as in some of the more pessimistic literary fiction, the protagonist never achieves this self-insight, the readers do learn these truths about the protagonist. In turn, knowing these truths also enlightens the readers about themselves and their worlds.Your book, however, has a . . .

Read More

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 8

“You never cut anything out of a book you regret later.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald Three Types of Manuscripts We have reached the point when we should look at the three types of manuscripts. 1. The Working Manuscript is rough, like a piece of sculpture that is not quite finished. It closely resembles the final work, but needs work. It has jagged edges and lacks polish. 2. The Self-Edited Manuscript is the result of the work done when the writer moves from the role of writer to the role of editor. You are not only the first reader of your book you are the first editor. 3. The Final Manuscript is smooth and polished and the best that you can do. A final manuscript has all the finished parts, table of contents to bibliography to notes. It is ready to go (in your mind). In this lesson we are only . . .

Read More

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 7

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book. — Cicero, circa 43 BC In this lesson we are concerned with two aspects of your writing. Pacing Dialog Pacing of Your Story My wife likes to tell a story in great details giving it also a historical setting. For example, she might mention what happened to her when she took her clothes to the dry cleaners. Telling her tale, she will include historical data, asides, the cast of endless characters she saw or waved to, or thought about, even tangentially, from the time she left the house until she reached the cleaners two blocks away. Over the years of our marriage I have listened to many such endless narratives, so now I chime in as soon as she takes a breath with, “Faster! Funnier!” (Sometimes it works.) Pacing is everything in the narration of . . .

Read More

Some Thoughts on the Faith Based Initiative

Last February, Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet spoke at Calvin University. The article reports Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet saying: ““Peace Corps does not mind at all if people practice their faith; in fact, we welcome it,” she continued. “We do discourage proselytizing because we are a government agency. But I think individual Christians are able to live their faith and are able to participate in local faith communities as members.” In part as a recognition of this, Hessler-Radelet explained, the Peace Corps recently started a new faith initiative which intends both to connect with faith-based NGOs and networks in the United States, and also to better support communities of faith overseas. While this initiative is a new step for the Peace Corps, Hessler-Radelet does not see it as a dramatic change. To read her comments, here is the link: http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2015/02/12/peace-corps-director-opens-up-on-faith-development-and-changes-in-the-peace-corps/ I made a Freedom of Information Request, March 30, 2015, to learn more about . . .

Read More

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 6

“The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrative This lesson is about one aspect of writing: narrative. Narrative is the core of writing what you want to write. By definition, narration puts a succession of events into words. Narration’s main concern is action; it moves your story. Simply put, narrative transforms past incidents into a carefully selected order giving momentum and suspense to all prose. What is Narrative? In your writing so far, I suspect that the majority have given descriptions: a window into the world of your Peace Corps experience. When done well, descriptive writing can give the reader the opportunity to see and understand unfamiliar objects, experiences, or perceptions. You have also taken familiar Peace Corps experiences and made them new and interesting by writing about . . .

Read More

New Books by Peace Corps Writers — July 2015

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. • The Color of a Lion’s Eye: Memories of Africa by Jane F. Bonin (APCD/Malawi, CD/Niger 1994–99) Border Press Books July 2015, 125 pages $15.00 (paperback) . • Don’t Get Too Comfortable by Robert Emmet Buckley Jr.  (Micronesia 1968–70) Historical Inspitational Memoir May 2015 325 pages $9.99 (Kindle) . • Letters from Nigeria: Experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer before and during the Nigerian Civil War by James King (Nigeria 1966–67), edited by Eileen M. Jones (James’s sister) Booktango 2013 335 pages $4.99 (Kindle) • Ad Nauseam: How Advertising And Public Relations Changed Everything by Jeff  Koob (Jamaica 1991–93) iUniverse . . .

Read More

Summer School-How To Write Your Peace Corps Book, Lesson # 5

“Every story has a storyteller.” – John Coyne For this lesson I will discusses: Point of view Scenes Chapters Point of View William Faulkner called “point of view” the source of a story. Point of view is a term that refers to the relationships between the storyteller, the story, and the reader. We can tell our stories from different points of view: – First-person – Third-person (On occasion you may find stories, usually short stories that are told from the second-person, “you,” which is unusual and extremely difficult to pull off as a narrative.) A story being told in the third-person point of view can be done in two ways: 1. The Omniscient Storyteller goes everywhere, knows everything, can read the minds of the characters, and comments when he or she wants. 2. The opposite of the Omniscient Storyteller is the Direct Observer. The Direct Observer has no memory of . . .

Read More

Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) The Chinese Lingerie Venders of Egypt

The current issue of The New Yorker carries a “Letter from Egypt” by Peter Heller (China 1996-98) It begins…. The city of Asyut sits in the heart of Upper Egypt, at a crescent-shaped bend in the Nile River, where the western bank is home to a university, a train station, approximately four hundred thousand people, and three shops in which Chinese migrants sell racy lingerie to locals. These shops are not hard to find. The first time I visited Asyut, I hailed a cab at the entrance of the city and asked the driver if he knew of any Chinese people in town. Without hesitation, he drove along the Nile Corniche, turned through a series of alleyways, and pointed to a sign that said, in Arabic, “Chinese Lingerie.” The two other shops, China Star and Noma China, are less than a block away. All three are owned by natives of . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.