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THE SCOOP
 
is a more or less monthly newsletter composed by and largely about the stories of author Ken Kuhlken and his adventures with Perelandra College and Hickey's Books.
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On Politics

Thanks Carl Reiner.

 
Carl Reiner, age ninety-six, wrote to Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, age eighty-one, urging him not to retire. Reiner has been a favorite of mine since high school when I got introduced to the "Two Thousand Year Old Man" comedy he and Mel Brooks performed.
 
As the legion of dedicated Scoop readers surely recall, I have been considering a run for state office, either as an assembly person or a state senator. On the pro side, I would love to campaign and serve. On the con side, I essentially hold three jobs, as novelist, partner in Hickey’s Books, and President of  Perelandra College. Clearly,in order to devote adequate energy to a political campaign, I should divest myself of some of those responsibilities..

And, most compelling of all, if I were to win the election, I would be called upon to spend way too much of Zoe’s high school junior and senior years in Sacramento.

But until I read Mr. Reiner’s plea to Justice Kennedy, I believed my choice was now or never, as I've been around quite a while already.
 
He wrote, “As someone who has almost a decade and a half on you, I can tell you this: It may well be that the best part of your career has just begun. As a nonagenarian who has just completed the most prolific, productive five years of my life, I feel it incumbent upon me to urge a hearty octogenarian such as yourself not to put your feet up on the ottoman just yet. You have important and fulfilling work ahead of you.”
 
And I’m way younger than Justice Kennedy.

So unless something or someone convinces me otherwise, I’m going to wait and run, probably for state assembly, in the 2020 election cycle. Meanwhile, I will pay close attention to politics, especially California politics; finish some current projects with Perelandra  College; write and revise books 4-5 in a series of novellas; and above all, treasure the time I get with my Zoe.

Living as a Writer

Craft and Inspiration
 
Last week, I completed draft five of my newest novel, The Answer to Everything.

The novel is most likely the final book of my Tom Hickey crime series, and in many ways it’s a departure from the other nine books. One of those ways is, I have attempted to pay more attention to inspiration and less to current expectations of what a crime novel should limit itself to.

A couple passages from my Writing and the Spirit reflect a quandary with which I needed to wrestle and with which other novelists may find themselves presented:

“Flannery O’Connor, in her collection of essays Mystery and Manners, explains, ‘If the writer’s attention is on producing a work of art, he is going to take great pains to control every excess, everything that does not contribute to this central meaning and design.’

“On the other side of the quandary .
..

Read on ...
 
Church for Writers

The Jefferson Attitude

The New York Times ran an article by historian David Williams about Thomas Jefferson’s more or less Christian attitude and how taking a similar stance might allow the Democratic Party to win over those who find Democrats essentially secular and deaf to the concerns posed by their Christian beliefs.

According to Mr. Williams, Jefferson believed ...

Read on ...
Writing and the Spirit

Get Courageous 
 
When I was in graduate school at the University of Iowa, I read in the college newspaper an interview with the director of the Playwrights’ Workshop. The reporter asked for his advice to would-be playwrights. His response was so outrageous, I remember it after a bunch of years.

He advised, if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, get rid of them. If you’ve got a husband or wife, disown them. If you’ve got kids, drown them.

I suspect he was practicing dramatic hyperbole. Yet ...
 
 Read on ...
Discover Twentieth Century California

The Tom Hickey crime novels are riveting stories that also offer a vivid and panoramic vision of California as it transforms from a frontier to the most influential place on earth.

“Tom Hickey is one of detective fiction’s most original and intriguing creations.”  San Francisco Chronicle​

“Elegant, eloquent, and elegiac, Kuhlken’s novels sing an old melody, at the same time haunting and beautiful.” Don Winslow, author of The Cartel

To start at the beginning, get 
The Biggest Liar in Los Angeles, only 99 cents in Amazon Kindle. 

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