Archive for August, 2012

Hemingway Newsletter

Posted on: August 20th, 2012 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

The new issue of the Hemingway Newsletter edited by Al Defazio is now available online at


It includes a half-page advertisement for Hemingway’s Island. Thank you to the Editor!

Our writing together shtick

Posted on: August 20th, 2012 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

He writes:
Even though as a young man I fantasized being a writer, sitting in a Paris bistro sipping café au lait or vin ordinaire, my ability to create dialogue or scenes never materialized. As an undergraduate, I set my mind to read and write at a scholarly level. My essay writing improved after a third-year prof tore apart one of my essays and growled, “I suppose you think you know how to write.” The next year I challenged him to improve my skills. I have become a writer of homilies, articles and essays, using a plain, clear style developed over the years. Lost was any ability to imagine a story longer than an anecdote. I can, however, still sit in a bistro and enjoy the place.

She writes:
As a teenager I found myself engrossed in reading and writing. I knew that one day I would be a writer, even though I wasn’t particularly skilled at that point. What was missing from my life as an author was experience and income. Teaching and raising children did the trick. Now, writing is so satisfying, so much fun! Seeing how a scene develops and polishing it up are the best parts. I love writing a dialogue that reveals character or clarifies a theory. I react strongly against anything fake or unjust and come up with most of my ideas before breakfast. After years of discipline, I’m into originality. For some reason to do with my stubborn family background, I refuse to write in any particular genre or to indulge in writing vicarious sex and violence. Hence, a small audience. (Thanks, friends and relatives!)

She writes:
“Any change is a good change” is our recklessly optimistic motto. I like to dress up and he likes to dress down. This sounds a bit off-topic? Stick with me. My writing style is convoluted and specific; his is straightforward and abstract. I get carried away on tangents and lose the thread of what’s happening; he can untangle the knots of a story. Writing, like everything we do together, is a pilgrimage, a search for a way to express meaning or, more accurately, Meaning. How do you know if someone is your soul mate?

He writes:
The essence of our writing partnership is collaboration. With coffee or wine in hand (depending on the time of day) and feet up on the ottoman, we bounce “What if?” back and forth, and characters and events emerge. I know that, 24 hours later, she will have woven her notes into one more scene. Meanwhile, I’ll have mulled over a narrative glitch. I can review what we had determined the day before and relate it to the direction we wanted to take in the first. Some scenes need several imagining sessions tried out in writing. When one of us reads it aloud the next day, we can easily see what works. I enjoy listening and synthesizing: ideas produce ideas; details, more details. It’s delightful to play with the words together.

Dr. Donald Daiker writes:

Posted on: August 18th, 2012 by Wayne Fraser No Comments

“Vacationing last week at North Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, I had the pleasure of reading the recently published novel ‘Hemingway’s Island’ by Eleanor Johnston & Wayne Fraser, wonderful people I met at the Petoskey Hemingway Conference in June. Hemingway’s island is, of course, Cuba, and the novel follows a young couple seeking to find the lost manuscript of Mary Hemingway’s account of their final days–July 19-July 25, 1960–before leaving the island for good. I especially enjoyed the sections of the novel in Mary’s fictional voice: Johnston and Fraser convincingly capture her wit and irreverence. It’s a well-researched and fair-minded book, and it taught me a lot about Hemingway’s later years.”

Donald A. Daiker
Professor Emeritus
Department of English
Miami University