Lonnie Knight: 1948-2017 

My name is Fredy Argir. I grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota and I live in Austin, Texas. Lonnie and I were friends for 50 years.

I’m here today to say a few words about Lonnie from a friend’s perspective. But looking around at this this large and distinguished gathering, I’m sure there isn’t much I can say that you don’t already know.

But if I may, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you a little about my lifelong friendship with Lonnie.

I met Lonnie in the late sixties in David Anthony’s office up on…

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Nuggets from the News (Volume III) 

Nuggets from the News is published pretty much any time we feel like it, which is to say: not often. But when we do manage to pull a few together, we try to be Johnny on the proverbial Spot.

These three outstanding pieces address issues of varying importance. They’re tips of the hat to notable, original, or important media content which, as you know, is sparse to medium rare in the crazy, nutty world we live in. This is Volume III of Nuggets, and we hope you find these tidbits worth your while.


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What Happened to Football? 

Most of the world calls it “American football” and there’s no question that it has been our national sport for the best part of the last century and all of this one—so far. After all, there are fourteen thousand teams, seventy thousand college players, and over a million high school kids playing football in this country today. Having a local National Football League (NFL) team is considered a major addition to any city’s identity and quality of life. The marketing of branded football jerseys…

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Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules for Writing 

Elmore Leonard died last year at the age of 70. He was a prolific author of crime fiction and many of his novels became American film classics; he was, in some ways, a writer’s writer. As he became the elder statesman, he offered advice to young authors from time to time. This is from his 2001 article in the New York Times titled, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle.”

These are rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to…

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Insufficient Evidence 

"The art of life consists in making correct decisions on insufficient evidence." —Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

I. The Barbara Paciotti Story

On Friday, June 13, 1969, Barbara Jean Paciotti, a petite, twenty-year-old secretary at a Minneapolis investment firm, drove home to Hibbing to spend Fathers Day weekend with her family. Later that night, after a late dinner with her parents, she and her roommate, who’d come home with her, went out. Barbara was wearing a rust-colored jacket over a red plaid dress…

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Enter the Technical Photographer 

Some lens makers call them macro while others refer to the same type of lenses as micro. Either way, what they mean is extreme close-up. It takes a macro or micro camera lens (let’s go with macro for this article) to photograph a world where tiny items become huge and fill the frame, and the results can be dramatic—breathtaking. They can also explain and clarify. A clear, close photograph of a complex mechanical scenario is worth the proverbial thousand words.

Like all photographers, I’m always looking…

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A Nonessential Reading List 

People often ask me what I'm reading. Because I'm an author, I assume they expect me to be immersed in some massive volume of academic import. The truth is I don't hang out with anyone who does that and my own habits are scattershot at best and often fraught with ulterior motives (i.e., research). I wish I could find more time for it. My New Years resolution every year is to "read more."

When I finish a book, I like to feel that it was time well-spent. Here are a few that fit into that category for me:

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Did the Internet Save the Novel? 

When I saw that headline over an editorial in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, I thought it was a joke. But Gordy Crovitz was apparently quite serious when he wrote, "Engaging with a novel—whether through print or e-book—requires rare focus in our information-snacking lives. The more time people spend tracking fleeting pixels across digital screens, the more they seem to yearn for something else. The well-crafted novel is more alive than ever."  Which is editor-speak for a good book is…

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Another New Site Goes Live 

I've had four websites on the World Wide Web spanning the past twenty-five years.  This is the fifth.  Everything has come a long way in a short time. On the other hand, the vast majority of users still think the World Wide Web and the Internet are synonyms.

I am a serious nerd. I graduated from the bulletin board (BBS) generation to the Internet in 1988. In the early Nineties, when I had juniper.com in Austin, I wrote shareware and posted it on my modem-connected site. I wrote a blogging app before…

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Secret Lives of Musicians

Secret Lives is the only novel I've published using a pen name. (My middle name is Emmett and my mother's middle name was Orlaine. Hence, Emmett Orlaine.)  But this is not a book about music. It's a collection of stories about musicians from different eras who find themselves in international, desperate, and often life-threatening situations and how they improvise and think on their feet to survive. It's a cultural time capsule, it's funny, and it's available for all eBook formats anywhere in the world—and only $4.99.

For more about Secret Lives, check out the BOOKS section.