DL Fowler's Blog

A Story’s Moment of Grace

Stories often begin to lose steam near the middle. The Lead character has worked through, around, and over obstacles for almost half the story, having made little progress. We start to worry that readers will grow impatient. We become tempted to add extra scenes solely to ratchet up tension. Big mistake. There’s another way to energize the middles of your stories. (more…)

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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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Building Blocks of Abraham Lincoln’s Personality

 During a decade of research into the life of Abraham Lincoln, I’ve become convinced that history is not about events. It’s about people. People cause the events that we call history. They are its roots. As such, we must study people to understand our past and learn the lessons they can teach.

I’ve captured my understanding of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Raw—a biographical novel. It’s a journey into his heart and mind, beginning with his boyhood, based on stories told by his contemporaries as well as stories he told about himself.

Following is an outline of my discoveries about Abraham Lincoln and how his personality emerged and the force of his character impacted history. It addresses four areas of inquiry that are essential to understanding one of the most pivotal personalities to set foot on the world stage:

  • What was Lincoln like out of the womb?
  • What preferences grew out of Lincoln’s innate personality?
  • How did Lincoln’s early life influence to his personality development?
  • How did Lincoln’s personality influence his values?

I hope you find the information enlightening, and welcome any contributions or questions you might want to add.

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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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Was Lincoln an ‘S’ or ‘N’ on Myers-Briggs?

Here’s a revealing insight from William Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner who was possibly his closest personal relationship between 1844-1860. It gives us a peek into the way Lincoln processed information in making decisions.

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Lincoln’s ‘fatal 1st of Jan’ry’

Posted in Lincoln Raw, Lincoln's Psychology, Psychology, Research by DLFowler on January 1, 2013

Lincoln called New Year’s Day 1841 that ‘fatal 1st.’ He had just dishonored himself by breaking his engagement (a legal contract) with Mary Todd a few weeks before New Years Day when on that holiday his closest friend announced his intention to propose to Matilda Edwards (on whom Lincoln had a crush – an over whom he’d acted foolishly. On top of that, Jan 1, 1841 was the day the State of Illinois defaulted on a large debt Lincoln had led the legislature in approving. He believed his political career was finished.

I guess it’s never over ’till it’s over.

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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SYWS – Do Your Own Homework

Posted in Inside a Writer's Head, Psychology, Research, SYWS by DLFowler on November 13, 2011

Here’s the difference between an argument and a discussion – in the latter all participants did their own homework. Arguments turn into yelling matches because at least one person is defending a position they don’t fully understand, something unsupported by facts and rooted in emotion. 

I think (I call this speculation, but if I get too vested before I research the notion, I’ve got good fodder for an argument) the problem became pervasive with the invention of objective questions – multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false. From there it evolved to don’t explain the problem, just give me the answer. 

At one point we got all our opinions from the liberal media. Today both sides get brainwashed (thank you ‘fair & balanced plus talk radio for evening the playing field in a game where everyone still loses.) Hey, if a talking head can mold my brain, why do I have to put out the effort to think?

So the risk in arguing is that everyone could be wrong. But in a discussion there’s value added by each contribution.

So the next time some one wants to think for you, just say no (okay, ‘no thank you’ if your mother’s tuned in.) After all, that simplistic slogan won the war on drugs, right.