DL Fowler's Blog

In Memoriam: Hank Searls 

Posted in Favorite Books, Hank Searls, Inspiration, Intimacy, Show Don't Tell, Sounding by DLFowler on May 14, 2017

I recently learned that one of my favorite authors, Hank Searls, passed away at 94 years old, on February 17, 2017. He was a gifted and prolific writer. You might recall Jaws 2.

I had the privilege of meeting Hank several years ago, and we spent a good hour or more talking about writing.  One of my all-time favorite novels is Sounding, Hank’s story about an aging sperm whale. It has been called the best whale novel since Moby Dick.

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Right Makes Might

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln closed his address at New York City’s Cooper Union with the following words that turned an age old phrase on its head.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

His speech at Cooper Union set him on track to win the Republican nomination for president. The world view he capsulized in this quote is what fueled his greatness.

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Character in Characters

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those words define what we mean by character. They are words that remind us of  the difference between a leader and a con-man. For writers like me, these words are a guide to crafting characters who inspire readers through stories. Characters with character are more important today, than ever before.

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Gettysburg Address – the rest of the story

Gettysburg Address

We shortchange ourselves when we study history as discreet events, dislodged from the context of what happens around them. That’s especially true when we divorce those incidents from the personal circumstances of those who put historical events in motion. (more…)

Abraham Lincoln’s Core Principle

Posted in Inspiration, Lincoln, Lincoln Raw, Lincoln's Psychology, Research, Themes, Writing by DLFowler on December 12, 2013

This will be short.

I grew up thinking Abraham Lincoln had a moral compass that always pointed North and made him superior to the rest of us. That he was passionate about Liberty and Justice for All, while we are mostly focused on liberty and justice for us. As I sit here doing one more pre-publication round of edits on Lincoln Raw—the human side of history I came across a much ignored excerpt from a speech he gave during his one term in Congress. It pretty well sums up the guiding principle that was his North Star for most of his life. 

In the early days of the world, the Almighty said to the first of our race, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” Since then, no good thing has been enjoyed by us without the necessity of labor. But it has so happened in all ages of the world that some have labored and others have, without labor, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong. To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor is a most worthy object of any good government.

When I say “most of his life” I don’t  suggest that he ever abandoned this principle. What I mean is that this principle led him to a new, higher law in his later years. It was this new understanding that led the world in, and still leads us in the unfinished business of, re-defining Liberty and Justice for All.

What are your thoughts? Go ahead and leave a comment.

Lincoln’s Tragedies

I promised to post this a long time ago. Now the wait is over. Lincoln was no failure (see The Myth of Lincoln’s Failures). But he did …

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The Myth of Lincoln’s Failures

Posted in failures, Inspiration, Lincoln, Lincoln Raw, Lincoln's Psychology, Psychology, PTSD, Themes by DLFowler on April 13, 2013

There’s a common myth that Abraham Lincoln experienced a lot of failures before he was elected president.

Truth is …

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Vampire Hunter – Abraham Lincoln?

So it’s time for me to weigh in on the latest commercialization of our revered 16th President – I believe that Seth Grahame-Smith is an absolute …

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Stuff You Want to Say (SYWS)

Posted in Inside a Writer's Head, Inspiration, Psychology, Psychopaths, SYWS by DLFowler on September 18, 2011

You know you want to. But you just eat your words and let the moment pass. Maybe that’s because you don’t know how to say it, or you think showing self restraint is polite. In either case, I’ll be devoting my Sunday morning blog post to Stuff You Want to Say (SYWS). Feel free to use my words. You can memorize them and play them back to end your weekend on a powerful note, or you can print them out and slip them onto a co-worker’s desk to show him/her you’re locked and loaded to survive the work week. 

So here’s my first offering. (more…)

The Angel Inside

Posted in Angel Inside, Chris Widener, Inspiration, Writing by DLFowler on February 28, 2011

That’s the name of a little book by my friend Chris Widener. It had a huge impact on me. I unlocked my lifelong passion for writng and have been a happy camper ever since. (Except for those times I’ve been distracted from writing or from spending time with family.)

Well the sole purpose of this blog is to encourage you to look up Chris, or follow him on Twitter @ChrisWidener  – He can help you believe in yourself if you struggle at doing that. And his book, The Angel Inside, impacted me enough to change my life for the better.