Cotton's Corner

Fareed Zakaria

   Fareed Zakaria wrote an editorial in this week's Time magazine, telling his readers the greatest blow to Islamic terrorism in recent years came from the Arab Spring uprisings.  Unfortunately, the victory seems short-lived.
   According to Fareed, the Arab Spring movements were the result of Middle-Eastern men and women demanding freedom and justice and not--as some Westerners feared--an Islamic state.  In short, he wrote they were asking for elections rather than Sharia law.

Tower of Obsidian by L.T. Getty - A review

What can you say about a novel you really enjoyed?  Admired even?  You can dust off some of the old cliches: "...A page turner...Electrifying...Epic adventure...Gripping...A dazzling tale...Wondrous journey."  How about "a ripping good yarn"?  OR  "A fun read"?  Need I go on?

How to Characterize Christ in a Novel

   When I presumed to make Yeshua bar Yosef (Christ) a character in my recently released time-travel novel TimeWarp, Inc., I had to make numerous decisions regarding how to portray him.

Gaza and Israel

A Pyrrhic victory
   Europeans who read those words will know what this feeble rant is all about.  To Americans, who know little about their own history, much less anyone elses, I'll explain: a Pyrrhic victory is a win gained at too great a cost, such as the defeat King Pyrrhus barely eked out against a fledgling Rome in 279 B.C. at the Battle of Asculum, where both armies (winner and loser) suffered so smartingly it would have been better if the contest had been decided by a game of knucklebones.

ELIZA--a five-star book review

   Except for the works of writers like Margaret Atwood, Susan Isaacs or even the off-beat romances of Alice Hoffman, I don't read a lot of women's fiction.  The plots often contain too much schmaltz, are steeped in strident feminism or are flat-out grounded in way too much dialogue for my less character-driven literary tastes to other words they are light on action or advenure.
   Social stereotypes aside, that may have ended with the novel Eliza, written by Joyce Proell and recently published by Champagne Books.


   I was watching Bill Maher with some friends a few weeks ago, when Bill used the word "kerfuffle" in conversation with one of his guests.  Someone asked a fourth-generation Jewish/American woman seated next to me if the word was Yiddish.  Her reply was she didn't speak the language but didn't believe kerfuffle was.
   So we looked up kerfuffle on the internet and got the following definition: kerfuffle--a commotion or fuss.  We also learned the word's origins were Scottish/Gaelic.
  But the word did sound more than vaguely Yiddish.

Curious Fact

   Robert Todd Lincoln, President Abraham's oldest son, used to tell the story of how he was at a train station in Jersey City one evening in either 1863 or '64 and slipped between the train cars and the platform, where he almost certainly would have been crushed had it not been for the aid of a stranger who reached down, grabbed young Lincoln by the collar and hauled him back up onto the safety of the platform.

World's Greatest Fried Chicken Recipe

I went blog trolling the other day and came across a recipe that set me to thinking.  Thirty-something years ago, while managing a restaurant on K Street in Washington, D.C., I told the owner we needed a fried chicken dish to balance the menu.  Instead of giving me a hard time, as per normal, he set to inventing a recipe on the fly.

An Open Letter to Bashar al-Assad

What to write about?  I thought of penning an open letter to Bashar al-Assad but decided instead to focus on something closer to home: Christ in the first century CE.  He is, after all, one of the main characters in my novel TimeWarp, Inc.

Pet Peeve

Another future novel is a sword-and-sorcery saga based on the Cold War. That brings me to a pet peeve of mine: America's foreign policy after World War II.

Bedfellows Strange is the story of a humankind forced to ally itself with goblins in a protracted war against a race called storm giants. It is a war of dire necessity which both humans and goblins are losing. Sound familiar? Consider this. Once said war is won, the erstwhile allies make a mockery of the ensuing peace conference and become mortal enemies who drag the rest of the world into each's sphere and heighten tensions planetwide.

Welcome to My Blog

You have entered "Cotton's Corner" - a blog where I will talk about everything from new books to chicken soup! Check back here often to hear my musings and thoughts about things. Thanks for checking out the website, and I'll be back soon! Stay tuned!