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myself under affliction that I don't feel shy before the public.

"I took up writing when I began to lose my sight," said Mr. King in answer to a question. "I found I was cut off from the reach of many other things. I was here in New York when, one day, I was struck by the sight of a typewriter. I immediately bought one of the smallest I could find, and all my books have been written on it. I took up writing in 1901. I believe I have written only four short stories in all. I am not a short-story writer. I don't see things concisely. I remember hearing Mrs. Mary Wilkins Freeman say she saw and thought of things concisely.

"Yet my books come to me fully made from the start. I see the story all through. For instance, 'The Wild Olive,' the most successful book I have written, I got from a remark Edward Sheldon, the playwright, who is an old friend of mine, made in my home in Dublin, N. H. He was sitting and I was walking up and down in a room at the time. The instant he made the remark, before I had taken half a turn around, I said: There is my new book, title and all.' Naturally, though, the story was arranged and modified, and it grew afterward.

"I have no system about writing. In fact, I don't feel as if I were more than a kind of instrument on which somebody else was playing, rather like a spiritualistic medium, as it were. Oh, no, I am not a spiritualist! I believe a good many people feel that kind of detachment.


"I write anywhere. I have no difficulty in writing on a train or on a steamer. As far as my experience goes, the more comfortable I am, the more pressed for time, the better I can write. When I bought a big house in Boston and filled it up with conveniences for writing, I often found myself like stagnant water. But when I rush over here on business, or go abroad, or go out West, I feel quite fertile in ideas.

"It may amuse you to know that I wrote a large part of 'The Wild Olive' on the corner of a washstand in a little room at Berne, Switzerland. My wife and my family had all the big rooms and I had to

take the smallest. The table was small and littered with books. There was no other place on which to put my little typewriter, so I naturally drifted to the washstand.

"I never set out to teach a lesson, but life, you see, is a great teacher, and I cannot set forth anything that looks to me anything like life without seeing some deduction to be drawn from it. That deduction some people would call a lesson and some a moral. I call it the natural result of circumstances. I think the function of a novelist is that of a public entertainer, first of all. He is primarily the servant of the public, rather than its teacher.

"Do I draw my characters from life? I could n't tell you. I have never drawn a portrait of anybody. They say no one could imagine a new odor. I suppose no one could imagine a wholly new character. One must use traits he has seen in some one. “And do you feel the loss of your sight?"

"There are so many recompenses that I am content.". New York Times.

Norris. "Mother' was intended for the Delineator prize short story contest," said Kathleen Norris the other day, when seen in her Port Washington home. "I intended to write a humorous story when I commenced it. It was to be called 'Mary Lou's Beau,' but when I got into it, the character of the mother took hold of me and I found I could n't make her funny. She was SO lovable that I began the story all over again and made her the heroine instead of the daughter. But I could n't get the story into anything like the limited number of words the Delineator wanted. They required three thousand and I could easily see that my story was going to run three times that number of words. So I abandoned it when it was only half finished and wrote another. When 'Mother' was finished the American Magazine accepted it, although it was nearly ter thousand words long. I had to cut it a little, but after it was published and people seemed to like it, Mr. Phillips, the editor of the American, suggested that I add about twenty-five thousand more words and tell what happened before I began where the

story as published in the magazine commenced. The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne' was conceived and written in even a more casual way. I was lunching downtown with some friends and I told them I had an idea for a short story and described it to them. One of them thought it was too good an idea to waste on a short story, that I ought to make a novel of it. He happened to know the editor of the Woman's Home Companion, Miss Gertrude B. Lane, and a day or so later he asked her if she was looking for a serial. It appeared she was. He told her about the idea in my story and she seemed to think that it would suit the Companion, so in another day or so Miss Lane and I dined together and talked things over. It staggered me a little when she said she would have to have the copy for the first instalment of the novel by the first of the year. She wanted a scenario of the whole book, too, and I had just two months to do both things. Well, I finished the scenario in a fortnight and the first two instalments were delivered by January 1, and the whole novel a month later. But I made up my mind while I was writing it that I'd never write another novel to order or against time. I could easily have made 'The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne' twice as long as it is, and made it a much better book, and while I was writing it I did SO much want to do it."

Regarding her first printed story, which appeared in the Atlantic, Mrs. Norris says: "This story had been the rounds of the magazines, but when it finally appeared in the Atlantic I received four letters from editors to whom it had previously been submitted, and by whom it had been rejected, complimenting me upon my work and asking the privilege of considering my next story. One of these was Mr. McClure of McClure's Magazine. I wrote him thanking him for his praise and told him that the story had been submitted to him on such and such a day and had been returned with a printed note of thanks a fortnight later."

Mrs. Norris can concentrate upon her work to a remarkable degree even under the most unfavorable circumstances, as was evidenced


by the way in which she fulfilled her contract to enlarge the short story "Mother' into the novel. That was two years ago, and the Norris family were summering in a Long Island boarding house. Mrs. Norris had to care for the six-months-old baby herself all through the days, and at nights wrote in a boarding house parlor surrounded by people playing the piano and singing and playing bridge.

"Every once in a while," said Mrs Norris, "some one would evince a kindly interest in what I was doing and come and look over my shoulder.

"Oh, that's what you're doing,' they'd say, and turn away."

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That" turned out to be a best seller, perhaps much to the astonishment of those casual lookers-on.

A recent successful story was based in its plot on a newspaper story that her husband read to her about a woman's saving a child in flood time by mounting a stepladder and holding the child in safety for hours. Mrs. Norris transposed the incident to a familiar setting, put in real, familiar, true-to-life characters and made one of the appealing stories of the year.-New York Sun.


Wells. H. G. Wells says, in an autobiographical note written for a recent Russian edition of his works: "I am now just fortytwo years old, and I was born in that queer indefinite class that we call in England the middle class. My mother was the daughter of an inn-keeper at a place named Midhurst, who supplied post horses to the coaches before the railways came; my father was the son of the head gardener of Lord de L'Isle at Penhurst Place in Kent. They had various changes of fortune and position. For most of his life my father kept a little shop in a suburb of London. His shop was unsuccessful, and my mother, who had been a lady's maid, became, when I was twelve years old, housekeeper in a large country house. I, too, was destined to be a shopkeeper. I left school at thirteen for that purpose. I was apprenticed first to a chemist, and that proving unsatisfactory, to a draper. But after a year or so it became

evident to me that the facilities for higher education that were and still are constantly increasing in England offered me better chances in life than a shop and comparatively illiteracy could do, and so I struggled for and got various grants and scholarships that enabled me to study and to take a degree in science and some mediocre honors in the new and now great and growing University of London. My chief subject for graduation was comparative anatomy, and the professor in whose laboratory I worked was Professor Huxley. I began first to write literary articles, criticism and so forth, and presently short imaginative stories, in which I made use of the teeming suggestions of modern science. There is considerable demand for this sort of fiction in Great Britain and 'America, and my first book, The Time Machine,' published in 1895, attracted considerable attention; and, with two of its successors, The War of the Worlds' and 'The Invisible Man,' gave me a sufficient popularity to enable me to devote myself exclusively, and with a certain sense of security, to purely literary work.

"Success with a book, even a commercially modest success as mine has been, means in the English speaking world not merely a moderate financial independence, but the utmost freedom of movement and intercourse. A poor man is lifted out of his narrow circumstances into familiar and unrestrained intercourse with a great variety of people. He sees the world; if his work excites interest he meets philosophers, scientific men, soldiers, artists, professional men, politicians of all sorts, the rich, the great, and he may make such use of them as he can. He finds himself no longer reading in books and papers, but hearing and touching at first hand the big discussions that sway men, the initiatives that shape human affairs. And London is more than the capital of a kingdom; it is the centre of a world empire and of world-wide enterprises. To be a literary artist is to want to render one's impressions of the things about one. Life has interested me enormously and filled me with ideas and associations I want to present again. I have liked

life, and like it more and more. The days in the shop and the servants' hall, the straitened struggles of my early manhood, have stored me with vivid memories that illuminate and help me to appreciate all the wider vistas of my later social experiences. I have friends and intimates now at almost every social level, from that of a peer to that of a pauper, and I find my sympathies and my curiosities stretching like a thin spider's web from top to bottom of the social tangle. I count that wide social range one of the most fortunate accidents in my life, and another is that I am a man of diffident and ineffectual presence, unpunctual, fitful, and easily bored by other than literary effort; so that I am not tempted to cut a figure in the world and abandon that work of observing and writing, which is my proper sphere in it."

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The participle is, of course, verbal in meaning, and this verb-thought of action, or being acted upon, must, also of course, find some person or thing to give it a reason for being. Often the person or thing which does what the participle tells is so clear in the writer's thought that he permits the ridiculous ellipsis which is seen in the following sentence: 'Walking down the street a building struck my eye." Here, by all laws of grammar or logic, the word "walking" is connected with the word 'building," and we have the absurd image that follows. There is no noun whatever to which the word "walking" belongs. The writer could have said: "When I was wali:ing down the street," supplying the pronoun thus, or he could have said: "Walking down the street, I noticed a certain build

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ing." The sentence as it stands is absurd.

Another example of this neglect of the participle is seen in the following case: A steeple is being described and we read: "Cutting the sky one can see it from a great distance." Grammatically the participle "cutting" must be linked with the word "one"; and so we have the image of a gazer cutting the sky in order to see the tower. The writer might have said: "One can see it cutting the sky," or, “Cutting the sky it is seen," or likewise.

There are few writers who do not occasionally blunder into loose handling of the participle, and it is therefore worth while for every one to have an eye to this possible fault.

An example of the same kind of mental ellipsis of the needed words is seen in a sentence cited in the Literary Digest from some writer who is appraising Miss Braddon's work. Of "Lady Audley's Secret," he "Written when quite a young girl, says: the story. . ." He means, of course, when Miss Braddon was quite a young girl, but what he actually says is that the story, when quite a young girl, was written.

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That the wrong or loose use of the participle is a common error is seen in a compound sentence from no less famous a pen than that of Benjamin Franklin. The friendly vernacular of the style hints how easily a speaker may fall into this pitfall. He says: They joined him in desiring him to speak his mind and gathering 'round him he proceeded to speak as follows." The participle, gathering," is left "up in the air." It cannot be tied to the subject of its part of the sentence, "he," for "he" is the actual object of this gathering idea. . Who or what does the gathering is of course plain to imagination from the preceding subject and predicate, "they joined." Grammar permits of no such breezy ties. There must be the plain family grouping in each and every complete sentence. All that follows after "and" must be explainable on its own ground. Who then does the gathering? No vestige of any such persons after the word "and" can be found. Does the writer mean "gathering 'round him his friends he pro

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So the rule must be watchfully heeded to declare the actor in every active participle, or the person acted upon when the participle is passive. The error is most often found when the participle is active. No one would have written "grouped 'round him, he proceeded." Any one would have said: "Grouped 'round him they listened.". Christian Science Monitor.

An Incentive to Authors. There is opportunity offered by the Camp Fire Club of America, credited with being the largest and most active organization of hunters of big game in the world, to all who love the out-door life where nature is itself, and have ability to write, to win literary honors by writing books directly or indirectly dealing with and advocating conservation of many resources, love of nature and out-door life, and the " camp fire spirit.”

The club has a committee on literary honors which passes on the merits of any such books that may be submitted to it. Its membership includes Dan Beard, president of the club; Ernest Thompson Seton, Dr. W. T. Hornaday, Dr. Louis L. Seaman, Dr. Robert T. Morris, A. W. Dimock, Charles Livingston Bull, Irving Bacheller, Emerson McMillan, General George W. Wingate, Frank Presbrey, Dr. George G. Van Shaick, Kenneth Fowler, and William Edward Coffin, vice-president of the club. These men are well known as authors, artists, naturalists, explorers, or scientists.

The committee is assisted by a number of volunteers from the membership of the club. A book when received is submitted to a

group of specialists upon the subject treated, and a group is selected to represent the general reader. Nature value, literary value, story or sustained interest, character drawing, maps, illustrations, and camp-fire spirit are considered. Written reports by these readers are submitted to the committee preliminary to a decision. If the vote is favorable the board of governors issues a "highly commended" certificate. The publisher is permitted to use this certificate in advertising, and to imprint the club emblem on the cover of the book commended. Every effort is made to base conclusions on exact, broad, and just lines, free from influence or favoritism. So far this year more than twenty books have been submitted.

The standing of the Camp Fire Club, the personnel of the committee, and the serious method of review should render this certificate desirable. To receive it is an honor of which many an author would be proud. - Albany Journal.

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Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett has gone to Bermuda to finish her new novel, serial publication of which will begin in this month's Century.

Montague Glass, creator of "Potash and Perlmutter," recently left for Europe with Mrs. Glass. They will settle down in some little town in Spain, where they will live for a year.

Thomas Dixon is doing his writing now in a log cabin of his own planning on his new five-hundred-acre estate, "Elmington Manor," Devondale, Va.


The Outlook announces as its main feature for 1913 Some Chapters from a Possible Autobiography," by Theodore Roosevelt, in which Mr. Roosevelt will write about his life from boyhood to date.

The death of William F. Monypenny, almost on the day of publication of the second volume of his "Life of Benjamin Disraeli," will not prevent the completion of the work, as the writer had virtually all the material ready for his publishers.

A book just published in London, "The Complete Mystery of Edwin Drood," by J. Cumings Waters, is a kind of encyclopaedia of the subject, of nearly 300 pages, with a full account of the sequels and "infallible solutions," numbering thirty-two.

In "The Problem of Edwin Drood," published by the George H. Doran Company, Sir W. Robertson Nicoll has attempted to determine how "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" was to end, by a study of Dickens's methods.

"The Wren's Nest," the Atlanta home of Joel Chandler Harris, has passed formally into the hands of the Uncle Remus Association, which will convert it into a memorial


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