"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

The Protectors Podcast™ presents author A.M. Adair.

A.M. is a veteran and author of the Elle Anderson series. She discusses the origins of the character, her military & overseas background, and a ton more.

Listen to the full episode here: https://theprotectors.buzzsprout.com/255144/9953266

A.M. Adair is an active duty Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Navy with over 20 years in the Intelligence Community. She has been to numerous countries all around the world, to include multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her experiences have been unique and provided her imagination with a wealth of material to draw from to give her stories life. A lifelong fan of the genre, she is an associate member of International Thriller Writers. Shadow Game was her debut novel, and the first book in the Elle Anderson series. Get it on Amazon!

This episode brought to you by Faraday Defense and Health To The Rescue.

The Frankie Boyer Show Interviews Ken Atchity about My Obit: Daddy Holding Me


Listen to "Ken Atchity, Creek Stewart & Jerad W. Alexander" on Spreaker.

Anyone who enjoyed Mircea Eliade’s autobiographical multi-volume Exile’s Odyssey, Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook My Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, or Richard Feynman’s Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman, will find My Obit: Daddy Holding Me a page-turner filled with poignant family experiences, explosive sibling rivalry, literary adventures, ethnic cooking, wide-ranging storytelling, the workings of the brain itself--and what can be learned about life from playing tennis for decades. The jokes and recipes alone are worth the entrance price.Hear more

Kenneth Atchity's Homer's Iliad:The Shield of Memory #FREE January 24 through January 28!

 "I know of no other book as good."--John Gardner


purchase on Amazon.com


During the past quarter century the study of classical literature, and of Homer in particular, has gone through something like a revolution. Part of the reason for the new look at Homer was something called "the Homeric question"—really a cluster of questions, all of them more or less wrongheaded but important nonetheless: did Homer compose orally, making up his poetry on the spot, brachiating from formula to formula ("swift-footed Achilles," "Hektor of the shining helm"), or did he use writing and achieve his majestic effects by means of revision, like an ordinary mortal? Was there ever a "Homer" in fact, or were the Iliad and the Odyssey high-class folktales, shaped, expanded, modified through a long process of folk or court tradition? What makes such questions seem wrongheaded is of course the beauty and intellectual density of the poetry. The Yugoslavian oral poets whose practice set off "the Homeric question" were interesting people and occasionally achieved rather interesting effects, but even the most sympathetic critic must admit that their work is feeble, almost silly beside Homer's. Homer, we know, was free to write, instead of compose orally, if he wanted to. We have no evidence that he was, as tradition claims, blind, like his own fictitious bard Demodokos, in the Odyssey; and even if he was blind, he could easily get someone else to write his words down and read them back to him, as did John Milton. More important, common sense would argue, it was at about Homer's time that writing came back into general use. The rediscovered tool made someone like Homer practically inevitable. Before Homer, heroic lays were apparently all short, usually about the length of a book or two of the Iliad. With the ability to look back, read one's work over carefully and thoughtfully, came the ability to weave in symbols—the connected bow symbolism that runs through the Iliad, the emblems of art Professor Atchity points out, and so forth. When one works out in full detail, as Professor Atchity does here, the imagistic, dramatic, and philosophical structure of the Iliad, it becomes difficult to believe that the poem is anything but a work achieved by the process of writing and revising.

To say that a thing is difficult to believe is of course not any sort of proof. Scholars for some reason devoted to the notion that Homer composed on his feet, like a Yugoslavian bard or the traditional black American minister, point out Homer's fondness for traditional formulae (though they cannot seem to agree among themselves about which formulae are traditional), and they ask, shaking their fingers at us, "Why would Homer use formulae if he was writing with a pen and had no need for them?" That is easily answered: poets before Homer—oral poets—had used formulae; he was imitating their methods, merely for tone, or out of love and respect, much as modern ministers occasionally say, for love of their tradition, "Brothers and sisters we are gathered this day." But this too is merely a plausible answer, not a proof.

The more one works at the Homeric question the more annoying it gets, but for all that, the raising of the question has been wonderfully beneficial. Though some scholars have made the question a stumbling block, refusing to listen to even the most reasonable and obvious readings of Homer's verse on the grounds that no man composing on his feet—and certainly no tradition of oral composers—could possibly be so subtle, the best of our scholars have responded to the question by looking more closely than anyone ever did before (at least in print) at the structure and texture of Homer's poetry. Finally, of course, it makes no difference whether Homer composed on his feet or at his desk, or whether Homer was one man or twenty—though we all have our opinions and may incline to think contrary opinions rank foolishness. The only important Homer question is: How do the Iliad and the Odyssey work? How tight are the poems? how beautiful? how profound?

As if "the Homeric question" had never been raised, Professor Atchity raises these more important questions about the Iliad, then answers them. He proves what we all suspected all along, that the poem is a brilliantly organized work, philosophically profound, perhaps the noblest work of art produced in the entire tradition of Western Civilization. His method is close analysis, tracing particular images and themes throughout the poem so that the general reader, not just the Homer specialist, can return to the poem and experience it more richly. I know of no better introduction to this splendid poem. In fact, I know of no other book as good.
Kenneth Atchity is an associate professor of comparative literature at Occidental College. He has written and lectured on subjects ranging' from Homer to Wallace Stevens, wrote the libretto for a sinfonia cantata, In Praise of Love, produced at Lincoln Center in New York, has published numerous poems, a collection of essays on Spenser, a collection coedited with Giose Rimanelli, on Italian literature, and is presently editor of CQ, contemporary quarterly: poetry and art.

John Gardner
New York, 1977

Praise for Hommer's Iliad:The Shield of Memory

"Homer’s Iliad: The Shield of Memory contains many brilliant insights. The poet knows that the “world of the remembered past” and the contemporary world, though chronologically distinct and substantially different, are both comparable in their reflection of continuing human experience. The Iliad is about man in the generic sense, and Kenneth John Atchity’s profound study fully respects Homer’s fundamental human concerns." —Professor John E. Rexine, Dana Professor of the Classics, Colgate University,

"The Hellenic Chronicle Annual Christmas Edition This very beautiful book renews and enriches at one blow, everyone’s reading of the Iliad." —Anne Lebeau, Revue des Etudes Grecques

This book presents a refreshingly original interpretation of Homer's Iliad, inviting today's reader to rediscover the beauty, intelligence, and power of Western civilization’s greatest epic poem.

For too many decades, academic classicists removed Homer from the mainstream reader's grasp with their claims that poets composing in the "oral tradition" are incapable of intentional organization. Instead, Atchity believes, metaphorical organization was introduced to the literate world by these "singers of tales."

The theme of the Iliad, Dr. Atchity points out, is the relationship between order and disorder, from the personal to the cosmic levels. Homer’s poem, crafted from a memory so strong it created a culture around it, proclaims that once order has been disrupted by disorder it can be restored only through the total destruction of all disorderly elements.

To reveal the Iliad’s guiding aesthetic, Atchity examines specific images connected with artistic creativity in the Iliadic world—artifacts such as shields, spears, and scepters, that form a cohesive symbolic pattern by which the character of men and gods is related to action, and one characteristic action to all other actions in the gradually unfolding thematic tension that defines the poem’s world view. Helen’s loom and Hephaistos’ great shield of Achilles, the two central art images, reveal most clearly Homer’s concept of his own artistry and of epic art in general: its origins, process, purpose, and impact on social reality.

Much of Atchity’s interpretation of the Iliad deals with comparing the characters of Helen and Achilles, around whom center “galaxies” of characters and images that can be identified in terms of order and disorder. The historical art of Helen is contrasted with the poetic vision of the smith-god, and both with the art of Homer himself who in his unforgettable wrath-poem combines the particulars of history with universal insight into the human condition which is at once inspired and philosophical.

Atchity examines the poem’s presentation of the art of words, of the singer and of the practiced speaker, to reach a clearer understanding of the relationships of memory, cognition, and action in the epic tradition. From this comes the striking conclusion that the Iliad is a poem about human love, the announcement of Homer’s insight that it is the love between two individuals, a love over-leaping blood bonds and political bonds, that provides the basis for the achievement of the noblest humanity. the imminent fall of one doomed city, and despite the imminent death of Achilles.

Atchity’s reading of the Iliad is of inestimable value to ordinary readers--as well as students of epic poetry, heroic poetry, classical literature, Greek literature, and anthropology.

Atchity was Professor of Comparative Literature at Occidental College. He received his Ph.D. from Yale
John Gardner, editor of the Literary Structure series, was best known as a novelist and poet. His novels included October Light, Grendel, and The Life and Times of Chaucer.

A reading of Dennis Palumbo's short story, "A Theory of Murder."

From  And All Our Yesterdays, edited by Andrew MacRae, Darkhouse Books, 2015.

Dennis Palumbo's historical short story is titled, "A Theory of Murder," and originally appeared in The Strand Magazine. Featuring a young Albert Einstein as an amateur sleuth.

An anthology of historical mysteries from DarkHouse Books. Available as both an e-book and a paperback.



My Obit: Daddy Holding Me by Kenneth Atchity

Anyone who enjoyed Mircea Eliade’s autobiographical multi-volume Exile’s Odyssey, Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook My Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, or Richard Feynman’s Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman, will find My Obit: Daddy Holding Me a page-turner filled with poignant family experiences, explosive sibling rivalry, literary adventures, ethnic cooking, wide-ranging storytelling, the workings of the brain itself--and what can be learned about life from playing tennis for decades. The jokes and recipes alone are worth the entrance price.

Hallmark “Honoring Betty White”

America’s sweetheart Betty White was just several weeks away from celebrating her 100th birthday when she died on New Year’s Eve.

As the world continues to remember the “Golden Girl,” the Hallmark Channel has revealed it will pay tribute to White with a marathon of her work airing on January 17, which would have been her centennial birthday.

In an announcement exclusively reported by Southern Living, Hallmark will host “Honoring Betty White.”

Beginning at midnight on the 17th, the Hallmark Channel will air a 40-episode marathon of “The Golden Girls." Fans will be able to watch curated episodes of the classic show until the 2011 Hallmark movie “The Lost Valentine,” starring White and Jennifer Love Hewitt, airs at 8pm ET/PT. The "GG" marathon will resume following the movie and conclude on January 18 at 5:00 am ET/PT.

Developed for Hallmark, The Lost Valentine originally aired in 2011. Based on a novel by James Michael Pratt, the film is directed by Darnell Martin and stars Betty White alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sean Faris. The film earned White a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor.

The official synopsis for The Lost Valentine reads: "During World War II, Navy Lt. Neil Thomas bids Caroline, his pregnant young wife, farewell at Union Station. Before their son is born, Neil's plane goes down in the Pacific and he's declared missing in action. Caroline is devastated. But love never dies, and for the next 65 years Caroline (Betty White) returns to Union Station on the anniversary of her loss, to salute the memory of her handsome and brave husband."

The marathon includes specially selected episodes of The Golden Girls that highlight Rose’s surprising competitive streak; visits by her St. Olaf relatives; funny career moments from the grief center and assisting consumer reporter Enrique Mas; along with plenty of romance, including boyfriends Dr. Jonathan Newman, Mister Terrific and of course, Miles Webber,” the network said in a statement, per the outlet.

In addition, the Hallmark Channel will also participate in the viral Betty White Challenge by donating to the North Shore Animal League America.

White was an advocate for animal rights and worked closely with many organizations to help get animals adopted and promote more humane treatment of animals.

The Betty White Challenge is a movement on social media where fans encourage others to donate to a local or national animal shelter, organization, or agency in White’s name to celebrate her birthday and the cause closest to her heart.

A report this week confirmed that White died from a stroke. The death certificate listed the cause of death as “a cerebrovascular accident,” which is a loss of blood flow to part of the brain that results in brain tissue damage. It reveals that she suffered the stroke six days before her death.

via Movie web and Audacy

My Obit: Daddy Holding Me Garners Honorable Mention in the 2021 New England Book Festival



Anyone who enjoyed Mircea Eliade’s autobiographical multi-volume Exile’s Odyssey, Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook My Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, or Richard Feynman’s Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman, will find My Obit: Daddy Holding Me a page-turner filled with poignant family experiences, explosive sibling rivalry, literary adventures, ethnic cooking, wide-ranging storytelling, the workings of the brain itself--and what can be learned about life from playing tennis for decades. The jokes and recipes alone are worth the entrance price.

Authors’ unpublished books kept getting stolen. Now, a suspect has been arrested

 Ethan Hawke and Margaret Atwood are among the authors targeted in the long-running phishing scheme.

Credit...From left: Daniel Dorsa for The New York Times; Amber Wray for The New York Times

They were perplexing thefts, lacking a clear motive or payoff, and they happened in the genteel, not particularly lucrative world of publishing: Someone was stealing unpublished book manuscripts.

The thefts and attempted thefts occurred primarily over email, by a fraudster impersonating publishing professionals and targeting authors, editors, agents and literary scouts who might have drafts of novels and other books.

The mystery may now be solved. On Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Filippo Bernardini, a 29-year-old rights coordinator for Simon & Schuster UK, saying that he “impersonated, defrauded, and attempted to defraud, hundreds of individuals” over five or more years, obtaining hundreds of unpublished manuscripts in the process.

Mr. Bernardini, who was arrested after landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport, was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Read more: 

Story Merchant Books is pleased to announce our first Zoom Book Launch Party for 2022

Story Merchant Books is pleased to announce our first Zoom Book Launch Party for 2022 with our title, Romeo’s Beat by Vincent Atchity, on Wednesday, January 12th 2022!


We want to extend a warm invite to all Story Merchant authors and friends to celebrate with us via Zoom on Wednesday 1/12 at 4pm PST / 7pm EST!

Please see the invite and agenda below and feel free to forward this email to anyone who might want to join!

On the day of the event, click the link below and enter the password to join everyone virtually!


You can order by clicking on this link: Romeo’s Beat

Join Zoom Meeting on January 12th:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5977327777?pwd=MFY5TXBJQUxwb1J2ZWhPeTR4WDdsUT09

Time: Jan 12, 2022 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 597 732 7777
Passcode: romeo

In memory of Betty White


At her eightieth birthday celebration, in 2001, at KC’s Leawood-South Country Club, the entire family gathered to celebrate my mother’s endless good spirits and hospitality. Dancing and telling jokes and winking, she reigned over the event like the dowager empress she’d become, wearing her signature red dress. and looking for all the world like Betty White on a good day.

My mother was a force larger than life.  

Oddly enough, I met Betty White because of Mom.

An aspiring novelist and former Mormon bishop named James Michael Pratt sent me a copy of his self-published book, The Last Valentine. I read the description on the back cover and thought it was maybe too romantic even for “Mr. Romance,” as I’d been dubbed during my years in Montreal producing Shades of Love.

But the concept nagged at me, so I sent the book to Mom and asked her to read it.

She called me two days later.

“You must get involved in this book,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

I asked her for details. Her response was sketchy—she was already becoming forgetful, especially of things she’d read, which is why I’d learned to return her call the minute she reached out to me after a read. But it was clear emotionally: Mom didn’t use must loosely. This was beyond should!

Long story short, I did get involved. My Writers Lifeline company helped Jim perfect the story and my management company sold it, at auction, for a bunch of money to St. Martin’s Press. It became a New York Times bestseller, and led to four or five further bestselling books for Jim.

At one point in his book tour, we converged in KC where Jim was being hosted by Barnes and Noble—and he insisted on meeting Mom. “She’s the one who got this book published,” he said. I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that.

You’d think a New York Times bestseller would have an easy route to the screen. But I knew one lesson by heart: nothing is easy in Hollywood. It took over ten years before Valentine was picked up by Hallmark Hall of Fame. Their president, meeting me over breakfast at the Alameda Plaza overlooking KC’s Country Club Plaza, brought up a ticklish subject. “You know this company will never call a movie ‘The Last Valentine,’” he told me—then tipped his orange juice in a toast.

I laughed, at what I thought was a joke. But it wasn’t. The movie was retitled, “The Lost Valentine,” and starred Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty.

It was one thing to meet the voluptuous Jennifer Love Hewitt—“Don’t avoid  these,” she scolded our Director of Photography, having checked the replay of a  wedding moment where the camera discreetly hovered above her cleavage line, “I  built my career on these beauties.”  Unleashing the camera, they did a more  revealing take.

But it was meeting Betty White on the set in Atlanta that truly thrilled me, for two reasons. In her red dress, white hair, and feisty countenance, she looked exactly like Mom. And I was given the chance to tell Betty the story of how my mother had gotten this book published and this movie made.

Alas, Mom was no longer around to glory in the moment, or in the Screen Actor's Guild's "Outstanding Performance by an Actor" Award Betty received for our film. 

Excerpt from My Obit: Vol 2: My Multi-Storied Mother, forthcoming 2022.


The "log line" is a one-line description of the story, very much like the one-liners you would read in TV Guide ("Hollywood makes movies you can advertise on TV," says pro Joe Roth).

It's not necessary for your log line to mention character names. A strong character trait will do - with a dramatic teaser about the story. All log lines go back to that ancient storyteller's formula, "What would happen if a character like x ended up in a situation like y." 

Next add a specific catch word that quickly tell the reader what the story is about. Is it about love, greed, obsession murder, family turmoil? Once you're set on one or two words you can push out from there adding a few more economical adjectives and verbs to make up your logline.

A high concept log line that makes a story out of one of the most universal
human emotions: 

fear, love, hate, envy, etc.
deadly sins: anger, greed, lust, etc.
plot motivators: betrayal, vengeance, discovery, rebirth, survival, etc.
virtues: loyalty, faith, responsibility, etc.

and incarnates that element in characters we can care about, relate to, and root for to shape an "original story" that feels both fresh and relevant to today's global market. If you can do that, and your writing equals your vision, you're only steps away from financial success and recognition on the biggest screen of all.

  • A woman or family in jeopardy?

"Cape Fear": A lawyer's family is stalked by a man he once helped put in jail.

  • An ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances?

"Erin Brockovich": An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

  • Men on a mission?

"Saving Private Ryan": US soldiers try to save their comrade who's stationed behind enemy lines.

"American Pie": Four teenage boys make a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.

  • A man against nature?

"Castaway": A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive after a crash landing on a deserted island.

"Cliffhanger": A retired mountain climber must conquer an unclimbable peak to save the survivors of a plane crash from certain death.

Or the system?

"People Vs. Larry Flynt": A pornography publisher becomes the unlikely defender of free speech.

"Class Action": A female attorney finds that her nemesis is her own father, and must choose between her corporate client and justice."

  • A woman escaping from something or someone she loves.

"Enough": On the run from an abusive husband, a young mother begins to train herself to fight back. 

Iconic Loglines From IFilmThings

Blade Runner 

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

The Godfather

“The ageing patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.”

The Matrix

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

The Shawshank Redemption 

“Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.”

The Lion King

Lion cub and future king Simba searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing his boundaries sometimes gets him into trouble.

Reservoir Dogs

After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

The Hangover

Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

The Terminator

A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity’s future salvation.

The Jungle Book

Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.

Finding Nemo

Nemo, after he ventures into the open sea, despite his father’s constant warnings about many of the ocean’s dangers. Nemo is abducted by a boat and netted up and sent to a dentist’s office in Sydney.

American Beauty

Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s attractive friend.