David A. Strong, Jr.

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I am a retired community college professor from Tennessee. I taught for over 35 years at Dyersburg State Community College in Tennessee. My favorite course was always World Civilization- a two semester survey of global civilization from ancient times to the present.

When I retired, I looked around for something to keep me occupied. A great friend of mine- Hal Poe- encouraged me to come to Oxford- which I did. I have always wanted to write, but a busy life kept me from pursuing this dream. Besides teaching, I was a soldier first in the regular army and then in the Tennessee Army National Guard for some 37 years. Now however I have both the time and the inclination.

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Glyn- I finally had time to read your story.  I think this story is told with so much compassion, but I don't have a good answer to your question.  I'm an American.  My son-in-law is an Egyptian Muslim who immigrated when he was fourteen and has adapted well to American life despite all the potential problems.  He is the father of my two beautiful grandchildren.  I find myself trying to put myself in his shoes, but I can't.

Why don't you have a Muslim friend read the story for you?  I think it is a story that should be told.


A positive- my surgery is done and I am continuing to recover nicely-

A negative- I've literally made no progress on my novel-

So given the above- here is my goal for September:

I will return to writing and will develop an outline for my work in an attempt to develop a sense of direction.  Ultimately, I see this to be three volumes flowing over several generations from the Roman withdrawal from Britain to the Anglo-Saxon onslaught in the fifth and sixth centuries.  Let's see where I get-

Good afternoon, friends- my surgery is done and I'm in physical therapy now.  I'm ready to get back to work on a reduced schedule.  One of the advantages of retirement- you are tied to no one's schedule.

I've gotten some feedback on my first chapter from some friends in an Inklings group that meets annually in the Smokies in Montreat, North Carolina.  I plan to move on and develop an outline and think more about my characters and how they interact.  I'm trying to make the transition from dull academic writing to something that grabs readers from the first page.

I'm considering enrolling the Jericho Writers Ultimate Novel Writing Course- any thoughts?

Anyway, I'm glad to be again at my console and ready to move on.


That's helpful- but I was really wondering about something like the Summer Festival.  I assume the events are aimed at British audience which means a 6 hour time difference in Tennessee.  If an event starts at 6 pm London time, it would be noon in Tennessee- which would be manageable- but an earlier start time could become problematic.  I may have just answered my own question- but I still wonder.

My goals for June will by necessity be somewhat limited due to my upcoming knee surgery.  I will continue to work on my first chapter- In the Hall of Eudaf Hen-  and hopefully push on to the next chapters.  The feedback I have received from fellow members has been most helpful.  Thank  you-

I decided not to participate in the Summer Festival of Reading this summer, but look forward to another opportunity next summer.  One question- with the time difference across the Atlantic- I'm wondering if real time communication is even possible.  Hopefully, someone can address my question.

Thank you, Paul-Dominique, for  your comments.  I love this kind of feedback and will take it to heart as I continue to write.

Greetings, Mir. I didn't start to seriously write until after my retirement five years ago. Self-doubt is a real thing and often I have to just force myself to plow ahead despite that.  Discovering this website has helped considerably as it has helped to know I am not alone.  Good luck.  I'm looking forward to seeing your work from time to time.

I hate to hear that- I taught history most of my professional life and always loved to tell a good story.  I hope that my writing will become that "good storytellling"-

Thank you, Kate- it does give me a lot of food for thought.  I really like this feedback.  I've done quite a bit of academic writing, and I know I need to get away from that.  This is very helpful.

Susan- I had nursing students in my history classes.  For some reason, they chose me over some others.  I developed an excellent relationship with many.  They were some of my best students.  What it takes is curiosity- which they had in abundance.

Susan- I had it and intended to go back to read and comment, but now I've lost it.  I'll get back to it.

I've uploaded a file- "At the Hall of Eudaf Hen."  I invite you to read and comment.

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