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Showing posts from January, 2014

Our Lady of the Golden Arches, Chaper 2 of The Intern, on the Thursday Afternoon #MINI, Edition #13

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I just love the title of Chapter 2 of The Intern, Our Lady of the Golden Arches, but, to be honest, I can't take credit for it. The credit belongs to my brother-in-law, who told me a story about how he and his brother used to skip mass on Sunday morning and go to the McDonald's nearby, which they dubbed, 'Our Lady of the Golden Arches.' For some reason that phrase stuck in my head for over twenty-five years, and it dropped out last week--making a big thump on the countertop--when I started the second chapter of The Intern.

For those of you who haven't heard about The Intern yet, it is a novel I am publishing on Wattpad, one chapter at a time, as I write it. Why, you ask? (Or, as my friend Andy said: Peter, you're a doctor; don't you have hemmorhoids to cut off?) There are three reasons: 1) I love the challenge of serialized fiction, a throw-back to the early days of radio, because you have to get it right the first time; 2) I am trying to build a followin…

Under the Cold January Sun: a short story by Peter Hogenkamp and an original painting by Peter Huntoon, on the Saturday Evening blog Post, Edition #14.

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It was about ten years ago and we were in the middle of arctic front that lasted about eight days. From what I can remember, there were three days when the temperature never got above -10 degrees. Now, you smart people out there will realize this would be a good time to hunker down by the wood stove and settle in to a good book. But I was young (still less than 40) and foolish (those of you who know me well will have no trouble believing that.) And so I snowshoed up the second highest mountain in Vermont that day, Killington Peak, when the temperature at the base was -12 degrees Fahrenheit, and the summit was -20 and whipped by a COLD wind. 

In the following years I have thought much about that day, and when the quintessential Vermont artist Peter Huntoon asked me to write a short story for his website, that day under the cold January sun came right to mind. I have always loved paradoxes, and the idea that the sun (which is 27 million degrees F at its core--although only a cool 10 mil…

Books & new media: the sea change, a guest blog by Doug Wilhelm on the Thursday Afternoon #MINI

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Ok, #MINI fans, a real treat for you this week: a blog written by someone other than me. In this case, the guest blogger is my friend Doug Wilhelm, author of 13 middle-grade novels including The Revealers, the most-used work of fiction in middle-schools today. Doug and I have chatted often about the brave new world of publishing, and I think Doug's blog does a beautiful job--in a short space, this being the #MINI--outlining some of the challenges that the digital revolution presents to the author and publisher. I have included the first part; please click on the link to Doug's blog for the rest. If you have a middle-schooler you want to buy a book for, take advantage of the site to order a book or two. Without further ado, Doug Wilhem: Books & new media: the sea change.


Driving to my sister’s house on Saturday, to work on a Kickstarter video — we hope to win support for publishing a “bridge into reading” chapter book for second and third graders — I heard a TED talk on…

The January Thaw: The Saturday Evening Blog Post, Edition #13

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It happens to me, too, you know, that temptation--when it's five degrees below zero, cold enough to freeze your nose hairs into needles--to pack up and move to Southern California where the sun shines 330 days a year and the temp never goes below 60. But then it warms up and your nose hairs thaw out and the temptation passes, leaving you slightly embarrassed that you ever considered something so ridiculous. It's one of the many things I like about the January thaw (FYI, it was 55 degrees here yesterday on the 11th of January). The grass appears and reminds you of warmer times--and the mole problem I never addressed last year. The snow on the sidewalk melts and I don't have to feel bad I never shoveled it. And the snow banks clogging the turnaround go away, clearing the way for my boys to play mini-hoop.

Rest assured it will snow again, and the air will turn colder, but it doesn't matter. Just the reminder that the seasons change and spring threatens is all I need to…