Archive for January 2022

Where to Start -- or Should it be 'How to Write: a Mystery?'

Where to Start -- or Should it be 'How to Write: a Mystery?'
In “How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America” (New York: Scribner’s, 2021), noted members of the group have published essays about the craft and things that you might not realize are included in it. The table of contents provides categories for those who want to look for a particular facet:... Read more »

A new series, 'How to Write a Mystery'

A new series, 'How to Write a Mystery'
In honor of the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, Jan. 19, 1809, I am starting a new series today: How to Write a Mystery. Posts will be based on the 2021 book of that title, with the subtitle “A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America,” edited by Lee Child with Laurie R. King. From defining... Read more »

ChicagoNow's Best Posts of December 2021

Every month, ChicagoNow holds a contest to determine the best writing that appeared on the site in the previous month. Of the more than 500 posts appearing in December, here are the 20 judged to be the best. Candid Candace Palmer House celebrates 150th anniversary and BROWNIES! The Chicago Board of Tirade 2021 delivers a... Read more »
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Was it the last straw that broke the camel's back? (and other questions from expressions)

Was it the last straw that broke the camel's back? (and other questions from expressions)
Do you ever hear the expression “That’s the last straw”? Or do you know someone following a problem who wants to know whether “That’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back”? What if they’re the same straw?I want to collect pairs or sets of expressions like that. I’ve been on the lookout for them since... Read more »

'Three Gs and an E flat' -- Bernstein on Beethoven's 5th

'Three Gs and an E flat' -- Bernstein on Beethoven's 5th
Author’s Note: Thanks to my esteemed colleague Aquinas Wired for his celebration of Beethoven’s birthday (in December) in his blog, The Quark in the Road. It reminded me of Leonard Bernstein’s lecture about Beethoven’s 5th, which I remembered for the vivid description I mentioned in this headline. To ease my hands, I’ve chosen to share... Read more »