Lapas attēli

to live. For the first time it then came over me that perhaps I was suffering from an acute attack of cerebral indigestion.

I determined to find the antidote !

I joined the staff of a daily newspaper as a reporter — quite a courageous act for a pale, slender girl attuned to silken linings in her tailored skirts.

On that daily paper I learned a good deal - learned from three in the afternoon to two in the morning. I learned to go when called, not to answer back, to take all sorts of assignments without question, to endure tobacco smoke and to feel at home with hats-on and feet-on-the-table. I learned to turn out hack work on yellow paper from a clattering typewriter with a falsetto bell, letting split infinitives gap and dangling participles flounder.

But somehow, while I was certainly in contact with a great big slice of life, yet I was just as much of a puppet - just as undeveloped.

I knew it! So I spent most of my salary on cold cream to suck the dust out of pores and sachet bags to tuck inside my linings, lest I might forget I was ever feminine in gender, and amid the clatter and racket I held myself apart and waited for my cue. One day it came !

The bottom fell out of Father's business. He had to gather up the frayed ends of his fortune and start the weave of another pattern.

And that was when I-a pale, slender girl with Magazine-Writer thrills-turned the bend in the road.

I had to lay aside my tailored suits and don print house-dresses. I had to take over the care of the house. I had to do the washing and the scrubbing and the cleaning and the cooking, and I had to nurse my Mother and cheer my courageous Fatherand bravely smile.

It was not easy to smile when my back ached with its unaccustomed strain, and my oval nails chipped into irregularity, and my white hands reddened, and my dreams of becoming a Magazine-Writer faded into a mist.

But when I looked out of the window and

[blocks in formation]

And I wondered, there on the sidewalk, if that curbstone scene might not be a touch of the LIFE that the professor had meant. I went home to the kitchen. While the dinner was cooking, I wrote wrote with a scrap of a pencil on a flattened-out paper bag, without a thought of barbarisms, improprieties, or solecisms. And that night, I jammed the pillows against the head of the bed and slumped my aching spine into them and I copied that first draft in longhand just as it stood.

The next morning I sent it off!

Three days later I got a letter bearing the address of the publication up in the lefthand corner. It was a small letter, thin and editorial. I sank down on the hall-rug while I read it, the check that had fallen out unheeded in ny lap :

"We take pleasure in accepting your 'Vignette of the Curbstone' for publication in an early issue. We congratulate you on its trueness to LIFE."

They had capitalized the LIFE.
Then I knew.

At last my soul had found me out. And there in the hall, under the letter-box slit, I clasped my tired hands together and gave thanks. Alice Spencer Geddes.


[blocks in formation]

THE WRITER is published the first day of every month. It will be sent, postpaid, ONE YEAR for ONE DOLLAR.

All drafts and money orders should be made payable to The Writer Publishing Co. Stamps, or local checks, should not be sent in payment for sub. scriptions.

THE WRITER will be sent only to those who have paid for it in advance. Accounts cannot be opened for subscriptions, and names will not be entered on the list unless the subscription order is accompanied by a remittance.

The American News Company, of New York, ard the New England News Company, of Boston, and their branches, are wholesale agents for THE WRITER. It may be ordered from any newsdealer, or direct, by mail. from the publishers.

**Not one line of paid advertisement will be printed in THE WRITER outside of the advertising pages.

Advertising in THE WRITER costs fifteen cents a line, or $2.10 an inch; seven dollars a quarter page; twelve dollars a half page; or twenty dollars a page, for one insertion, remittance with the order. Discounts are five, ten, and fifteen per cent. for three, six, and twelve months. For continued advertising payments must be made quarterly in advance.

***Contributions not used will be returned, if a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed. THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO., 88 Broad Street, Room 416, BOSTON, MASS.

P. O. Box 1905.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

According to Canon Hannay ("George A. Birmingham"), the requirements of an author are the instinct to play with words, an intense and curious interest in life, and the ability to understand life from a detached point of view. This is worthy of the attention of the ambitious. A strong desire to "write a book" is not enough.

Unnatural dialogue in a novel is a serious defect. A conspicuous example of it is found in Hamlin Garland's melodramatic story, "Cavanagh Forest Ranger." The hero of the story is reporting to his superior by telephone the discovery of a particularly brutal murder. His chief asks: "Is that you, Ross? What's the matter? Your voice sounds hoarse." Ross, the book says, composed himself, and told his story briefly. "I'm at Kettle Ranch post-office. Now listen. The limit of the cattlemen's ferocity has been reached. As I rode down here, to get into communication with a doctor for a sick herder, I came upon the scene of another murder and burning. The fire is still smouldering; at least two bodies are in the embers." Perhaps this explains incidentally why Ham

lin Garland's house burned down. He may have made a stump speech when he should have hollered: "Fire!"


W. H. H.


J. D. Beresford, author of the story, "The Imperturbable Duchess," in Harper's Magazine for August, and also of the novel, Goslings," just published by the Macaulay Company, was born near Peterboro, England, forty years ago. School days over, he was articled to an architect, and spent a number of years drawing plans. He did an immense amo:int of reading at this time and also some writing, which, however, he ultiniately destroyed. He has done, and still does, a lot of reviewing for leading papers. His first novel was "The Early History of Jacob Stahl," published in America by Little, Brown, & Company, in 1911. This was followed by "The Hampdenshire Wonder" and "A Candidate for Truth," published in this country by Little, Brown, & Company, in


Marguerite Putnam Bush, who wrote the story, "The Demoralization of Mrs. Barton's Dinner," published in Lippincott's for October, was born in Boston and lived there until her marriage, when she removed to New York. She now makes her home in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Mrs. Bush has written fiction spasmodically since her girlhood, but for several years trouble with her eyes kept her from writing, and then she devoted her time exclusively to the study of style for two or three years. At first she wrote in collaboration and under a pen name, but for some years now she has been writing alone and signing her own name to her stories. Altogether she has published a hundred stories, more or less. These have appeared in the Youth's Companion, St. Nicholas, the Ladies' Home Journal, the Atlantic Monthly, Lippincott's, Smith's, and other magazines.

[blocks in formation]

for September, is the editor of the Book News Monthly. She is the daughter of Joseph C. and Emma (Moore) Bright, and was born in Philadelphia, in 1883. She was graduated from the Girls' High School in Philadelphia in 1901, and in 1906 she married Robert Carson, of Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland. She is the author of "The Dream Child and Other Poems," published in 1905; "From Irish Castles to French 66 'The Chateaux," published in 1910, and Nature Fairies," published in 1911, and her new book this year will be "In the Kingdom of the Future," a small volume published by the G, H. Doran Company.

Marion Short, whose poem, “Little Puff o' Wind," was published in the Youth's Companion for October 2, is perhaps best known by her series of stories concerning the Cochran family, now appearing almost every month in Smith's Magazine. The first of the stories, "The Famous Cochran Children," which appeared in 1911, has been followed by others dealing with Verdant Cochran, a child violinist, her parents and her younger sister, and their patrons and fellow-professionals. Miss Short has had poems published in the Cavalier, Holland's Magazine, the New York Herald, Puck, and the International, and stories in the Black Cat, the Red Book, Holland's Magazine, and other periodicals.

T. J. Thomas, whose story of "The Runaway Steamer" appeared in the Wide World Magazine for October, has been contributing regularly to the Wide World for three years. His first professional work was as cartoonist on the staff of the Cleveland World, and he became virtually a literary conscript when, during a shortage of reporters, he was pressed into service to help "cover" a big story that happened to be "breaking." Gradually he gave up his cartoon work and became a member of the reporting staff. During the ten years that followed his abandonment of pen-and-ink work, Mr. Thomas worked on the staffs of various

newspapers, and he is now connected with the Cleveland News. Five years ago he submitted a feature story to the Sunday magazine of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the acceptance of this chance contribution led to his becoming a regular contributor. This led him to seek wider publicity, and he sought among the world's publications for one devoted to true "feature" stories. In 1911 he submitted a story to the Wide Word Magazine, and it was accepted. Soon afterward Sam T. Hughes, managing editor of the Newspaper Enterprise Association, of Chicago, met Mr. Thomas in Cleveland and offered to buy all the true animal stories he would submit. Mr. Thomas says he has sometimes dreamed of "going in" for fiction, and that he may yet try it, but on the other hand he might be a rank failure at fiction and he is convinced that the thing one can do best should be selected as one's life work. The secret lies in discovering what one can do best.

Howe Williams, the author of the story, "Jobson's Folly," in the Metropolitan for September, was graduated from the University of Michigan with the class of 1894, and then went to New York, where he studied drawing at the Artist-Artisan Institute. In the life-class with him was the late Philip Verrill Mighels, also seeking to acquire the rudiments of a craft which he later discarded for the pen. Mr. Williams saw several years of these vicissitudes which ever come to the art student before he has mastered his medium and won his golden spurs, but in 1898 he became a member of the art staff of the New York World, and for the next decade followed the profession of newspaper artist. chiefly in the employ of the New York American and the Philadelphia North American. In 1907 he emigrated to the Pacific Coast and became a reporter on a Los Angeles paper, and, later, on the Arizona Republican of Phoenix. Mr. Williams has written fiction and an occasional vocation article spasmodically for a period of years, but he is now devoting all his time

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Her first novel appeared in 1860, the year in which Thackeray wrote "The Adventures. of Philip" and Dickens "The Uncommercial Traveler." Since then Miss Braddon: has produced, on an average, one novel every eight months, and she is now at work with much energy and pleasure on her seventyfifth book.

According to an intimate, friend she has always kept abreast of current literature, and in addition to the works of the modern English writers she has a full acquaintance with the leading French, German, Italian, and Spanish authors. She is a generous critic of contemporary writers.

[blocks in formation]

De Coulevain. The latest issue of theJournal de Genève to reach us announces the death of the French writer widely known in this country under the pen-name of Pierre de Coulevain, on August 22, at Lausanne, Switzerland. She was in real life Mademoiselle Favre, a Genevese by birth and originally a teacher by profession. For a woman who had achieved popularity as a writer in France, England, and America, she succeeded in a remarkable way in keeping the details of her private and family life from public knowledge. She was born in 1845,and did not begin to write, at least for pub


[ocr errors]

lication, until she was more than fifty years of age. Her five novels, published in English in this country, are, in the order of their appearance, American Nobility," On the Branch," The Unknown Isle," "Eve Triumphant," and "The Heart of Life." She had lived both in the United States and in England, and her intimate knowledge and understanding of the social and family life of the English are displayed in "The Unknown Isle," which, as a story, is the least pretentious of her books, but is perhaps the most meritorious from a literary and philosophical point of view. She was born a Roman Catholic and died in full communion with that Church; but her mind was a liberal one, and the ideals set forth in her books are ethical rather than those of conformity to creed or doctrine. She was witty without being bitter, gay without being frivolous, and of a simple kindness of heart which gave her a strong sympathy with what is essentially good and attractive in human nature. No writer, perhaps, since Philip Gilbert Hamerton has been so successful as Pierre de Coulevain in interpreting the English to the French, and the French to the English. She was eminently the kind of personality and the kind of a writer for whom the reader feels an individual respect and affection. The Outlook.

[ocr errors]

White. Brought up in Michigan, which was at that time the greatest of lumber states, Stewart Edward White lived for eight or nine years in a small mill town, whence the family moved to Grand Rapids, then a city of some 30,000 people. The boy attended no school until he was sixteen years of age, when he entered the junior class in the high school with boys of his own age and was graduated at eighteen, president of his class. A few years later he was graduated from the University of Michigan. The eight or ten years which most boys spend within the four walls of a schoolroom were some of the most fruitful of his life. He was continually in the woods and among the rivermen, both in his own town and in various lumber camps to which his father took him.

From 1884 to 1888 (he was about twelve years old then) he spent in California, which, says Mr. White, "was a very new sort of place." These days were spent largely in the saddle, with many excursions into the back country, where he saw much of the wild life of the old ranchers.

From 1888 to 1891 ornithology attracted him and every moment that he could spare he spent in the woods. One of his papers, "The Birds of Mackinac Island," the Ornithologists' Union brought out in pamphlet form and it is to this that Mr. White smilingly refers as his "first book."

While in college his summer vacations had been spent cruising the Great Lakes in a twenty-eight-foot cutter sloop and thus he traversed the greater part of the waters of these backwoods. On graduating, he spent six months in a packing-house, acquiring much information and less wealth at the rate of six dollars a week. He then set out for the Black Hills in the height of a gold rush

and came back broke. This was not an unusual experience, but the charge did not lie entirely on the debit side of the account, for it was on the experience gained in this venture that he drew for material in writing "The Claim Jumpers" and "The Westerners."


[ocr errors]

Then followed a winter of special work Brander Columbia University under Matthews and in some law courses that interested him. It was during this time that Mr. White wrote as part of his class work, a story entitled A Man and His Dog," which Professor Matthews urged him to try to sei!. It was bought by Short Stories for fifteen dollars, and was his first paid story. Others followed in Lippincott's and the Argonaut, "but I did not get rich at it," remarked Mr. White. Thirty-five dollars was high-water mark.

With some notion of learning how to become a successful author, Mr. White next secured a position with A. C. McClurg, bookseller, of Chicago. After some little writing, which found its way into review columns and magazines, White set out for

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »