Essays and Novels
Visit the Phil Ochs Home Page
This is my old friend Phil Ochs. When I wrote this piece, Phil had been dead for more than twenty years. That's how long it took for me to write something in his memory. This is one of my most popular essays, so I'm posting it first. The piece was featured in the Minnesota Mensa magazine. It was nominated by the national Mensa organization as one of seven finalists for the best essay of the year. The final selection was made in July, 1997 and it wasn't me, but I'm still proud to have been nominated. I'd be honored if you would read "An Obituary for a Friend, Twenty Years Late."
Major Newspaper Essays
I must admit, it's fun to see my own byline in a major newspaper. Over the past few years, I've had some considerable success with several major markets. The following essays (sometimes called OpEd pieces) all appeared under my own byline. I've also been responsible for ghost-writing several more, but, as I said earlier, that's not for discussion in a public forum. Since editors tend to edit (that's their job), each time an article appears it does so with slight differences. To keep things simple, I've reproduced the copy just as originally written. I hope you enjoy them.
A Small Piece of Common Ground appeared in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, the BALTIMORE SUN, the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES and the WESTCHESTER GANNETT Newspapers.
A Taxing Experience had its premier publication in the WESTCHESTER GANNETT Newspapers and NEW YORK NEWSDAY. The piece was gained a second life when it was reprinted in the CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER and third one with an appearance in the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR on April 15, 1999.
Cultural Conspiracy and In the Presence of Power are two essays that were published by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
Someone to Watch Over Me was published in the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS following a health crisis at one of Minnesota's most delicious industries.
Bosket's Law is the pride of my "major newspaper" pieces because it appeared in the great white father of newspapers, THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Getting By With A Little Help
From My Friends --
As strange as it may seem, sometimes the major newspapers don't want to publish my essays. But I've got two hometown journals who are always willing to put my words into print. I want to give a special thanks to my friend Chuck Hunt who used to own the Tyler Tribute, a wonderful weekly newspaper, and to the staff at the Marshall Independent, the area's premier daily publication. I used both of these print forums when I lived in Tyler, MN before moving to Sioux Falls. I am also fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Without the help of these newspapers, some of my stuff would only appear in off-beat literary journals (ok, maybe not so literary). These pieces appeared in those off-beat journals and on the pages of the Tribute and the Independent. The material printed in the Argus is pretty much exclusive to them due to the nature of the topics. By the way, the Tribute and the Independent have also published most of the stuff that was accepted by the big boys as well. I wouldn't want to you think that I only send them the rejects.
A Few More Reading Selections
The Argus Leader, (Sioux Falls) Series
The Novels - Life's Work Unpublished? No, Not Quite!
What writer does not want to publish a novel? Over the years I've done three and each one has gotten better. And the time between them has shortened. But I did find a publisher for one, A Little Lower Than the Angels is now available on Dead End Street, Ltd, both as an electronic book and as a paperback.
I used to have an agent, Aleta Daley, who really believed in my work but she got married and moved to Hungry. I doubt if she did that only because of my writing. All kidding aside (and to me this is a deadly serious topic), these books are already better than most of what's on the market, and I know how to sell them. So if you are a publisher or an agent, read the linked proposal letters. They tell you about the book and how I can help you sell it. We can make money together.
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