Author Steve Laube

Flag Day – 2021

Today, June 14 in the United States, marks the day in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress passed “The Flag Resolution,” establishing the Stars and Stripes as the nation’s official flag. Below is a short video with a more-detailed explanation.

While it is clear that our ultimate allegiance should be to Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we can still have patriotism for our country, warts and all. There is no perfect kingdom on this earth, which is why we strive to serve God’s Kingdom and proclaim His glory among the nations.

Yet I am still stirred when the country’s flag is displayed. (See the photo below the YouTube video taken on September 11, 2001. It shows the flag in front of the burning World Trade Center. A symbol of resiliency.)

(If you cannot see the embedded video in your newsletter email, please click the headline and go directly to our site to view it.)

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Fun Fridays – June 11, 2021

We take some music for granted. Like the music behind movie brands. We’ve seen this group, MayTree, before on Fun Friday; but I thought you’d find some delight in hearing them perform again. Keep listening for the very last one in this 90-second collection; you’ll be amazed. (If you cannot …

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The Story We Bring to the Story

by Steve Laube

With all the discussion about the craft of fiction and the need to write a great story there is one thing missing in the equation. The one thing that is the secret to great fiction. And it is the one thing the writer cannot control.

That one thing is the story the reader brings with them to their reading experience. As a reader I have the life I have lived, the people I’ve met, the books I’ve read, and the places I’ve been that I bring with me into the world your novel has created. This makes the reading of every story unique. No two people can read the same story the same way. This is why one person’s favorite book is another’s thrift store giveaway.

In the new memoir The End of Your Life Book Club author Will Schwable writes about the books he read with his Mom during the last years of her life. In his introduction he wrote something profound:

We all have  a lot more to read than we can read and a lot more to do than we can do. Still, one of the things I learned from Mom is this: Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying. I will never be able to read my mother’s favorite books without thinking of her—and when I pass them on and recommend them, I’ll know that some of what made her goes with them; that some of my mother will live on in those readers, readers who may be inspired to love the way she loved and do their own version of what she did in the world.

This is the secret to the greatest novels of all time. They were written in such a way that my story, the essence of who I am, merged with that story and it became something new. Something unique. Something inexplicable. A new story. And then became a part of who I am…and a part what I bring to the next story I read.

That’s the story I want to read. Can you write it? I can’t wait to read it.

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Fun Fridays – June 4, 2021

It’s NATIONAL DONUT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here is the description from the National Day Calendar website: Each year on the first Friday in June, people participate in National Doughnut or Donut Day, celebrating the doughnut and honoring the Salvation Army Lassies. The Lassies were the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during …

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Memorial Day

Today in the U.S. we honor the veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and died in the military for our country. It is an important day of remembrance. Some interesting quotes to ponder in light of this day: “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that …

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Fun Friday – May 28, 2021

This is the perfect video for Memorial Day weekend when so many people in the U.S.A. take a road trip. Impress your family and friends after watching. Geek-out on FONTS! Aren’t they cool? Enjoy your weekend as you obsessively look at road signs in a new way. (If you cannot …

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Fun Fridays – May 21, 2021

Johann Sebastian Bach is one of my favorite composers. The six pieces in his “Cello Suites” are extraordinary. But the first one in that collection is famous the world over. I urge you to find ten minutes in the next few days (if not today) to watch and listen to …

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Ancient Wisdom from an Ancient Editor

by Steve Laube

I came across a remarkable section in a book written around 124 B.C. The editor of the book wrote the following preface to help the reader understand his methodology and purpose. It shows the concern a good editor has for the ultimate reader. His job was to abridge a massive five volume work into an abbreviated 16,00 word document. Can anyone tell me where this comes from and the name of the editor? (Without googling the text!) I’ll reveal the answer in the comments later in the day.

The number of details and the bulk of material can be overwhelming for anyone who wants to read an account of the events. But I have attempted to simplify it for all readers; those who read for sheer pleasure will find enjoyment and those who want to memorize the facts will not find it difficult.

Writing such a summary is a difficult task, demanding hard work and sleepless nights. It is as difficult as preparing a banquet that people of different tastes will enjoy. But I am happy to undergo this hardship in order to please my readers. I will leave the matter of details to the original author and attempt to give only a summary of the events.

I am not the builder of a new house who is concerned with every detail of the structure, but simply a painter whose only concern is to make the house look attractive. The historian must master his subject, examine every detail, and then explain it carefully, but whoever is merely writing a summary should be permitted to give a brief account without going into a detailed discussion. So then, without any further comment, I will begin my story. It would be foolish to write such a long introduction that the story itself would have to be cut short.

Note a few pearls of eternal wisdom from this ancient editor:

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Fun Fridays – May 14, 2021

Today’s video had me laughing out loud. It was far too close to what can really happen in an interview with an author. Enjoy Bob Newhart at his best during this six-minute comedy sketch. At a writers conference years ago, I met someone who claimed they had a worm in …

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When Your Proposal Doesn’t Sell

by Steve Laube

It happens. Despite all efforts and good intentions not every proposal we shop will end up being contracted by a major publisher. Of course our agency tries our best to keep that from happening. We carefully choose which projects and authors we represent. And our success rate is extremely high.

But that success rate is not 100%.

Here are a few examples of projects that I represented in past years that did not sell to a major publisher.

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