Reading Anne Frank, journaling, working on my novel

…I’m about halfway through Anne Frank’s diary, and it amazes me how a 15-year-old girl could be so deep in her thoughts. Yes, she complained a lot about how she was treated, how the others acted and about what we would call “cabin fever”, but it is to be expected concerning the extraordinary circumstances she faced.

Perhaps someday I should read Corrie Ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place. I believe I saw that movie, and I remember in high school seeing a movie about Miss Frank also…

…Received the newest issue of Writer’s Digest. As always, great stuff. It is a reminder for me about pursuing my true love–fiction writing…

…I have been doing a lot of journaling lately, which is what I should be doing regardless of whether my life is going well or bad. Don’t expect me to post anything: most of it is far too personal.

I am reminded of how Lou Gehrig, during the end of his 2,130 consecutive games streak, wrote a letter to his wife on the road from his hotel room. The letter was several pages long, and when Eleanor Gehrig donated the letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame, they noticed that the letter abruptly stopped mid-sentence. Why didn’t you send us the entire letter? they asked.

Mrs. Gehrig explained that the final pages of the letter were too personal.

I wonder if she ended up doing at the end of her life what U.S. President James Buchanan did. He was engaged to be married and exchanged several love letters with his fiancee. She died and he never married and kept the letters with him until his death. Buchanan’s will, I understand, gave very strict instructions that upon his death, the love letters were to be destroyed: he wanted to take the details of his relationship with her to his grave…

…Still working on my novel, Randy and Rhonda. I’m starting to pick up steam after unraveling a few plot points. Down the road, I’d love to find a writer’s group and meet some fellow Christian writers–male and female. Perhaps I should get off my lazy duff and see if I can try to organize one…

Richard Zowie is a writer who believes a day should not go by without exercising his fingers on his keyboard. Post comments here or e-mail Richard at

Goodbye, ‘The Hunt For Red October’, hello ‘Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl’

Well, technically I didn’t finish reading read Tom Clancy’s novel The Hunt For Red October. I tried. Twice. This time, I made it halfway through the book before finishing the rest in skim mode. I’ll watch the movie soon when I can.

The idea was great, and I agree with a lot of Clancy’s politics. The problem was, I found this book to be far too technical. Clancy likes to describe technology, intelligence procedures and military equipment in explicit detail. It made for slow pacing and, frankly, boring reading. Yes, I know that President Ronald Reagan loved this book (which tells me his attention span was far longer than what his critics care to admit). But for me, while Clancy has great ideas, it just didn’t work for me.

Years ago, I tried reading Patriot Games and didn’t finish that, either. It seemed too far-fetched that Irish terrorists would travel to American soil to avenge a crime. I may try sometime to read Cardinal in the Kremlin, since it deals with a spy for America inside the Kremlin. Maybe. Other books are awaiting my time. Sometime soon, I’ll have to make some time to read Ben Bova’s Mercury. As readers of this blog know, Dr. Bova has turned into one of my favorite sci-fi writers. If you haven’t read Jupiter, do yourself a favor and read it…

I’ve read the first entry of Anne Frank’s iconic diary. This was originally required as reading in my high school in the freshman or sophomore honors English program, but since I didn’t take honors English until my junior year, I missed out.

Little did Anne Frank know, her writings to “Kitty” would become an important piece of literature.

I look at Miss Frank as a delve into two genres of literature: classic (it was written in the 1940s and, technically, was written not only in the prior century, but also in the prior millennium) and foreign (the German-born, Dutch-raised Frank was Jewish and penned her diary in Dutch). What we read in English is a translation.

Having a short attention span has always made it a challenge for me to start and complete classics in literature, especially if they seem slow or are filled with archaic language. We’ll see how this process goes.

I am determined to succeed.

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