Confessions & latest news

Posted by on Sep 3, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on Confessions & latest news

Despite careful proofreading, the sample copies of ‘Confessions’ revealed several typos. I really, really hate typos. I corrected all of them n reposted the file on Amazon. ‘Confessions’ should be typo-free now but the book may not be available for shipping until Tuesday, Sep 5. My sci-fi novel The Glow has been carefully proofread n submitted to a major sci-fi publisher. It will be a few weeks before I get an answer. It might be helpful if I had an agent to help open some doors, but I have an issue with NYC publishers...

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‘Confessions’ spy book published – comments

Posted by on Aug 3, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on ‘Confessions’ spy book published – comments

After months in preparation, my latest book, Confessions of a CIA Spy in the Soviet Union, is finally out and available from Amazon. For many years I kept to one side the journal that the CIA requested me to keep, thinking that with the Soviet Union gone, no one would be interested in what it was like to live, or more accurately try to survive, daily life in that Communist country. With the current war in Ukraine and people of all factions and convictions splitting on whom to support and why, or having no interest in the matter under the...

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Update on ‘Confessions of a CIA Spy’

Posted by on Jun 14, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on Update on ‘Confessions of a CIA Spy’

I am now in the editing phase, correcting typos and verifying facts. It’s fun relating all the parties I had with friendly Russians and their ever-present vodka even if some portions of my journal aren’t as sharp in my memory as I would like. The journal has much detail so luckily I don’t have to rely much on my memory. Some scenes, of course, stand out clearly even after 33 years. I relate much about what it was like to actually live in a Communist society. I tried to blend in as a common Soviet citizen as much as I could...

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More Peculiar English Etc

Posted by on Jun 4, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on More Peculiar English Etc

Perhaps the most puzzling to foreigners is ‘ou’. While spelled similarly, pronunciation varies wildly. ‘Though’ is pronounced ‘long O’, as ‘throw’. ‘Through’ however is pronounced ‘u’ as in ‘you’. ‘Could’ is like ‘good’. ‘Thought’ is like ‘awful’. ‘Thorough’ is like ‘throw’ again. ‘Ouch’ and ‘couch’ are pronounced like ‘cow’. ‘Tough’ and...

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No ChatGPT here!

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on No ChatGPT here!

ChatGPT is the latest proof of the collapse in public literacy. The proof is that some so-called “publishers” are using ChatGPT to write “books” and the public is buying them. ChatGPT can never write original quality literary fiction. I offer $1,000 to anyone who can prove that any AI program at all has written a novel of fiction equivalent in quality to mine including original plot and characters and in my writing style. Will never happen.

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Language Lovers

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on Language Lovers

I am giving a new byline to Equus: “Books for Language Lovers” since that is more in tune with the real substance of the books that I write and my writing style. My books are about language, its beauty and its poetry and are not really aimed at a particular audience. As I often say, my books should be read aloud since the sound and meter of the language is part of the message. If one is reading rapidly then s/he is missing much of the book. Unlike most people today, I am not focused on the image of the moment, or videos, or media,...

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The Thing with Slogans

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on The Thing with Slogans

I am constantly amazed at how Americans seem to judge everything by first impressions. On occasion I hear people comment about clothing, for instance someone might see a T-Shirt that says Astros and they immediately assume that one supports the Astros. Or they see a hat with a big A on it and assume one supports the Atlanta Braves. I have zero interest in organized sports and I was only barely aware that the Astros were a baseball team or that an A signifies the Atlanta Braves or that the Braves have anything to do with baseball until people...

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Update on Confessions

Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on Update on Confessions

I have finished the section on Central Asia. Some events I recall clearly even after 33 years. Many I have completely forgotten. I rely on my journal to describe those events. Many more events coming up, including a train trip across Ukraine which, like my entire trip, I undertook alone.

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Updates on ‘Confessions of a CIA Spy’

Posted by on Apr 20, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on Updates on ‘Confessions of a CIA Spy’

My stay in the Soviet Union was back in 1990. I had just finished a Master’s degree at an Ivy League University in Russian-Muslim relations and I was in a hurry to expand my Russian language and go to the Soviet Union since it was clear to me that it was on the verge of collapse, contrary to what my academic advisors thought. My chief advisor, now long dead, told me that the SU would last centuries, slowly declining like the Ottoman Empire. I could not persuade him otherwise. This was probably because he was a devout class-war Marxist...

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More Bad English

Posted by on Mar 17, 2023 in Blog | Comments Off on More Bad English

Instructional and some pet peeves. There are many subtle differences in English, both as written and when spoken, which not only foreigners don’t know but many native English speakers get wrong. For instance, lay versus lie: one lies down but one lays an egg. Yesterday I lay down while my chicken lay an egg. Both are correct. Foreigners often confuse “mean”. For example, “I think you mean to say” intends to say “I think you intend to say”, but “I think you are mean” changes the meaning...

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