January 31

Birthdays: Zane Grey (1872), John O’Hara (1905), Thomas Merton (1915), Norman Mailer (1923), Oe Kenzaburo (1935), Norris Church Mailer (1949), Denise Fleming (1950), Laura Lippman (1959), Patrick Gale (1962), Steven Amsterdam (1966), Daniel Tammet (1979),

Norman Mailer won the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award.

Oe Kenzaburo won the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature

Daniel Tammet is an English writer and autistic savant. His 2006 memoir “Born on a Blue Day” is about his life with high-functioning autism and savant syndrome.

Laura Lippman’s novels have won the Edgar, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe, and Barry awards.

Thought for the day: “There’s always time to read. Don’t trust a writer who doesn’t read. It’s like eating food prepared by a cook who doesn’t eat.” – Laura Lippman

Tip: Learn how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus. They will be an immense (huge /enormous /massive /colossal /immeasurable) help in your writing. But don’t make the mistake of substituting fancy words when simple ones will do.

Jumpstart: You wake up in a field or other remote area with no clue who you are and no identification on you. What happened? What’s the first thing you remember? Do you want to go back to your old life or start a new one? Why?

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