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The Write Stuff



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A new acquaintance stared at me with a look I imagine is usually reserved for little green men stepping out of their flying saucers. I’d just told her I don’t watch television, and in fact, don’t even own one. “I write instead.” We went down the list of my immediate family members, and somehow that was the first time I realized that we all write. My husband writes academic theory papers that are—literally—mostly greek (all those mathematical symbols, you know). Daughter #1 is a human rights attorney who covers “foreign policy, human rights, and shetland ponies” for vox.com. Daughter #2 writes comedy for a hot new late night show. My son does technical writing, but often throws out hilarious satire. And Daughter #3 is my occasional coauthor on the Null City series.

Supposedly, Samuel Johnson, author of “A Dictionary of the English Language” (1755) said, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” (as quoted by his brilliant biographer, James Boswell). However, Boswell then added the comment, “Numerous instances to refute this will occur to all who are versed in the history of Literature.”(Both quotes from Life of Samuel Johnson, LLD (1791) by James Boswell.) [Image credit: Portrait of Samuel Johnson by Sir Joshua ReynoldsSupposedly, Samuel Johnson, author of…

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