DL Fowler's Blog

Local Book Review: Hagridden by Samuel Snoek-Brown

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on June 10, 2017

Poignant portrayal of the psychological cost of a war between brothers. The choice between union and disunion at a personal, rather than political, level. I highly recommend.

Blue Cactus Press

How often do you pick up a book from one of your favorite authors and hope and wish and pray it’s as good as the last? I do it every time, but truth be told, only about half the books I read live up to my expectations. Lucky for me, Samuel Snoek-Brown’s Hagridden did, in fact, live up to my expectations as I read it while camping in wilds of Utah.

Hagridden is a historical fiction novel and it’s set in the U.S. South as the Civil War came to a close. It follows two women who’re struggling to survive in the bayou and rebuilt their lives with the little (humanity) they’ve got left. The book reads very much like a Cormac McCarthy novel, both in tone and content, but it’s much easier to palate during the gritty moments (read: less depressing and less descriptive of gore … most of…

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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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Political Theater

A recent news item reminded me of an ominous episode of political theater that took place some 153 years and twelve days ago. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not my intent in this post to compare or contrast the two occasions, or the people involved. I’ll leave that to you.

By the way, the event I recalled isn’t the one that happened on April 14, 1865. My mind is too complex to travel somewhere that easy.

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Have the Good Old Days Returned?

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Abuse, Civil War, Psychopaths, Research, Slavery, Uncategorized, US History by DLFowler on May 22, 2016

Today is the 160th anniversary of the caning of Senator Charles Sumner. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that kind of thing happening today.

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Lincoln’s Cottage (Lincoln’s Footsteps #2)

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on January 27, 2016

Discovering Lincoln’s Cottage at the edge of Washington DC was one of the highlights of last fall’s roadtrip. The cottage served as a summer refuge for the Lincoln family during the tribulations of the Civil War and little Willie’s death. There is probably no other place where you can connect so intimately with the Lincoln family. For us, that connection was in no small measure enhanced by our terrific tour guide, Robert Gotffredi.

Here’s his smiling face.

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And here he is on the back porch of the cottage, giving us the low-down.

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During the summers of 1862-1864, Lincoln rode by horseback between the cottage (where he slept) and the White House (where he worked). A prominent feature on the cottage grounds is the statue of Lincoln and his mount.

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On most days, those round trips included three rituals. An exchange of nods with the poet Walt Whitman who lived along the route, a stop at the “contraband camps” where Lincoln joined escaped slaves in singing spirituals, and solitary walks among the graves of fallen Union soldiers.  We can only imagine the thoughts that consumed him on such occasions.

Inside the cottage (where photography isn’t allowed) Robert shared stories about late night visitors who woke the nightgown and slipper clad, bed-headed President from naps. They usually came for business, sometimes out of curiosity, and often were entertained with stories and jokes until late into the night.

The cottage is not only a repository of unique information about the Lincolns’ year in Washington, it is also available as a venue for a variety of educational, business and social events. Needless to say, the Lincoln Cottage was one of the great discoveries of our adventure.

More than a figure in history books

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on April 15, 2015

Today, April 15, 2015, marks one of the most significant and saddest days in American history. One hundred and fifty years ago today executive power in our government was transferred by an act of violence for the first time. It was also the day we lost a great poet who continues to inspire and mesmerize us with his words. He was our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. Pause a moment to reflect on his legacy.

Lincoln’s Blackouts

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on July 25, 2014

DL Fowler's Blog

Lincoln’s law partner, Herndon, described episodes when he’d find Lincoln sitting in a catatonic state from which he couldn’t be aroused. Often there’d be a book of poetry in his lap.

No one has any idea of what went on in Lincoln’s head during those episodes. He never talked about them.

One possibility is that were flashbacks of an earlier trauma that his body was defending himself against. That happens to people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Lincoln suffered several traumatic moments early on. At 7 he almost drowned, at 9 he suffered a life-threatening head injury, and months later helped bury his mother, at 10 his father left him and his sister to weather a brutal winter unattended and on the brink of starvation, as a teenager his father beat him often and when he was just past 20 his first love died. Lincoln’s emotional responses to…

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At Russo’s Books

Posted in Uncategorized by DLFowler on December 6, 2012

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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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Something New

Posted in Lincoln, Lincoln's Psychology, My Books, Uncategorized, Writing by DLFowler on May 19, 2012

Okay, so I’ve been quiet for a while. It happens. But I have a good excuse. It’s called Lincoln Raw – inside the legend. If you want to know whether it’s worth not hearing from me for a bit, try out the sample chapter on my website.

Lincoln Raw is an attempt to get intimate with the most pivotal president in our country’s history. To delve into the early life traumas that forged his emotions, and how his complex personality helped create the America we live in today.

It’s not a biography, it’s a story told by him in first person. I try hard to capture his storyteller’s voice throughout. And I interlace his early life experiences with decisions he made as an adult, to connect probable cause with potential effect.

Lincoln Raw is a work in progress. I’ll try to be more diligent about posting here. Especially now that I found the secret formula that lets me type new posts on my iPad.

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