My struggles with LiveJournal have continued intermittently, and for some time I stopped trying. But the site seems to like my new computer better than it liked the old one, so I hope to start posting regularly again.
Finally, finally, finally, I am able to get into my LiveJournal account. It's been defunct for months, and every time I've contacted LJ to get it fixed, I was told there was nothing wrong with it. (Of course, I've been paying for the service all this time, but also could not get into my account to switch to the free version.)
I'm not sure why it's suddenly working, but it might be that I'm using a different browser.
Woo hoo! For weeks LiveJournal has been refusing to let me into my own page, saying I had the wrong password. Every time, I followed the link to reset the password. And every time I tried to get back in with a new password, it told me again that I had the wrong password. Today, for some reason, it finally works.
Now to go back and retroactively add the necessary posts for all the writer birthday entries I've missed.....
A few days ago I was driving down I-395, and was mystified when a State Trooper pulled me over. I knew I hadn't been speeding. As it turned out, my registration was not up to date. As soon as the trooper said so, I remembered what had happened. When the materials had come in the mail, we were planning to move before the due date. I didn't want to have to change the address so quickly, so I hung onto it, figuring I'd mail it in after we moved to the new address. And then we pushed our move ahead by a month or two, and I forgot all about the registration.
I pulled my license from my purse, and then reached for the glove compartment for my old registration. It wasn't until after I'd opened it that I realized what a luxury it was to be able to pull open the compartment without a second thought. If I were a black man instead of a white woman, I would first have to say something like, "The registration card is in there. Now I am going to slowly open the glove compartment to pull it out for you. Is that all right?"
And a black man in my situation would still have to wonder if he was about to be dragged from the car and arrested. Or beaten.
Don't get me wrong. I have no reason to think this particular trooper was racist, or violent, or a bad person. But if you're not white, you have to keep that possibility in mind all the time, and prepare for it. It's hard to imagine living with that level of fear and rage, all the time, every day.
1719 - Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer best known for his work The Travels of Anarchis the Younger in Greece.
1804 - Eugène Sue, French author whose novel Mathilde contains the first recorded use of the phrase, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
1806 - Nathaniel Parker Willis (also known as N. P. Willis), American author, poet, and editor who worked with iconic American writers including Poe and Longfellow.
1873 - Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Nobel Prize-winning Danish author.
1883 - Forrest Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, author, and Harriet Beecher Stowe biographer.
1908 - Jean S. Macleid, prolific British romance novelist who also wrote as Catherine Airlie.
1925 - Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, politician, and Catholic priest who founded a primitivistic art colony.
1930 - Blair Lent, Caldecott Medal-winning American children's author and illustrator.
1944 - William Henry Jackson Griffith, American cartoonist who signs his work Bill Griffith or Griffy, and is best known for the comic strip "Zippy"; he is credited with originating the popular catchphrase, "Are we having fun yet?"
1945 - Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning American short-story writer and novelist.
1948 - Nancy Kress, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American science-fiction author, columnist, and educator.
1948 - Natan Sharansky,Soviet-born Israeli politician, author, autobiographer, and human-rights activist who was sent to prison in the Soviet Union for allegedly spying for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
1956 - Bill Maher, controversial American comedian, political commentator, television personality, and author.
1959 - Tami Hoag, bestselling American author of romance and thriller novels.
1959 - R.A. Salvatore, American author of bestselling fantasy and science fiction books, known for his "Forgotten Realms" and "Star Wars" books.
1964 - Fareed Zakaria, Indian-American journalist and author.
1967 - Alexander Ahndoril, Swedish novelist and playwright who has also written crime novels with his wife, Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril, under the joint pen name Lars Kepler.
Today is my son's 17th birthday. It would be a bit of a stretch, but you could call him a published author. When he was 6, he entered a contest for Kids' Letters to President Obama. He was one of the winners, and had his letter appear in the book of that name. If you ever come across the book, look for his letter on page 34. He's the one who offered to teach the President of the United States how to bowl.
And now, I'll move on to the list of writers who share his birthday.
January 16 Writer Birthdays
1749 - Vittorio Alfieri, Italian Count who was a dramatist and poet; considered the founder of Italian tragedy.
1874 - Robert W. Service, British-Canadian poet known as the "Bard of the Yukon."
1882 - Margaret Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist.
1901 - Laura Riding, American poet, critic, novelist, and essayist who lived with poet Robert Graves.
1923 - Anthony Hecht, American poet whose work often focused on WW2 & the Holocaust.
1928 - William Kennedy, novelist, and journalist who often wrote about a fictional Irish-American family.
1932 - Dian Fossey, American zoologist who studied & wrote about gorillas in Rwanda.
1933 - Susan Sontag, writer, filmmaker, activist, and literary icon.
1947 - Kate McMullan, prolific author of children's picture books, nonfiction books, and young-adult books who often collaborates with her husband, illustrator Jim McMullan. She has also written joke books under the name Katy Hall, and the "Dragon Slayers' Academy" series under the name K.H. McMullan.
1947 - Magdalen Nabb, British author of detective novels.
1948 - Ruth Reichl, American food writer, editor, memoirist, and TV food-show producer.
1952 - Julie Anne Peters, author of young-adult fiction.
1955 - Mary Karr, American poet, essayist, and bestselling memoirist.
1958 - Marla Frazee, children's book author and illustrator; 2-time Caldecott Honoree.
1968 - Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award-winning author of children's and young-adult books.
1970 - Garth Ennis, Northern Irish comic book writer.
1875 - Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize-winning French theologian, writer, organist, philosopher, and physician whose name has become synonymous with humanitarianism.
1882 - Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Dutch-American historian, journalist, and children's book writer, known for his world history for children, The Story of Mankind, which 1n 1922 won the first Newbery Award.
1886 - Hugh Lofting, 896 - John Dos Passos, American novelist and artist, known for his USA Trilogy.
1905 - Emily Hahn, prolific American journalist and author, considered an early feminist and called "a forgotten American literary treasure" by The New Yorker magazine, she wrote 54 books and more than 200 articles and short stories.
1919 - Andy Rooney, author, journalist, and television personality, best known for his "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" segments on the CBS newsmagazine show 60 Minutes.
1921 - Kenneth Bulmer, prolific British author, best known for his science fiction, but who also wrote realistic fiction, military fiction, sea stories, and magazine articles; he also wrote under many pseudonyms, including Alan Burt Akers, Ken Blake, Ernest Corley, Arthur Frazier, Adam Hardy, Philip Kent, Bruno Krauss, Neil Langholm, Manning Norvil, Charles R. Pike, Dray Prescot, Andrew Quiller, Richard Silver, Tully Zetford, and Rupert Clinton.
1925 - Yukio Mishima, pen name of Japanese author and poet Kimitake Hiraoka, known for his avant-garde writing as well as his ritual suicide.
1926 - Tom Tryon, American actor and author of science fiction, horror, and mystery novels and screenplays.
1947 - Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, historian, and Martin Luther King Jr. biographer who wrote about the Civil Rights movement.
1948 - John Lescroart, American author of legal and crime thriller novels.
1949 - Mary Robison, American novelist and short-story writer.
1950 - Arthur Byron Cover, American book author and short-story writer whose work is in the science-fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.1952 - Maureen Dowd, American author and New York Times columnist.
1957 - Anchee Min, Chinese-American author of fiction and memoirs.