What’s On My Calendar in 2019

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

This handy calendar offers motivation, prompts, wisdom and more. Who knows: Maybe one of my quotes will be on the 2020 edition.

Looking back at the holiday season passed, I was fortunate to receive some outstanding gifts, from the intangible (moments shared with family and friends) to the tangible (a couple of six packs of some really good beer).

But assuredly, the most poignant — and hopefully most useful — gift found under the proverbial tree was a desk calendar.

As noted in the accompanying image, my calendar will offer “Inspiration, writing prompts & advice for every day of the year.”

By reading this post, it’s readily apparent that I write stuff, from commentary on public relations, politics and popular culture to travelogues and people profiles. With a career in public relations, marketing and journalism spanning (yes, hard to believe) four decades, there are a lot of other genres I could include within print digital and broadcast.

Back to the present, the most challenging writing projects completed recently were required assignments in my pursuit of a master’s degree in English. For the Theory, Rhetoric and Aesthetics course completed in December, I submitted a paper, “The Growth of a Post-Truth World in Modern Society.

To summarize the essay: Exceptionally challenging and equally rewarding, as I had to analyze early twenty first century perceptions of truth and falsehood while balancing beliefs presented by Plato and a twentieth century thinker. Heady stuff, indeed.

For the spring 2019 semester, I pivot resoundingly in another direction: Novel workshop.

Yes, I will begin — and hopefully finish — a novel by May. What’s the plot? Who are the characters? What do I hope to accomplish?  We’ll find out in a few months.

Should I need inspiration, I will read, savor and gain from the messages displayed on the little calendar on my desk. Then, I’ll get back to work.


Questions for Harper Lee on the “Forgotten” Novel and More

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Just about all of us who put words together for profit or enjoyment (I’m in both camps, but The PRDude blog falls in the latter category, unless of course, there are sponsors out there) probably have contemplated, if not completed, drafting the next “great American novel.”

However “great” is defined.


Ms. Lee: Me and much of the world have inquiring minds. Can you share a few moments in the near future?

Author Harper Lee accomplished that feat way back in 1960 with the publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a novel set in a small Alabama community in the 1930s.

It was her first and only novel, or so the world thought. And, it won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961.

You might have read “Mockingbird” — I did in 7th grade — and know the plot, and the fact the story was later made into a pretty good film. So, I won’t tread back.

Last week, you also probably read that Ms. Lee — who reportedly has not published any long fiction since “Mockingbird” and likes her privacy — had a sequel laying around somewhere. That work, “Go Set a Watchman,” will be published this July.  Apparently, Ms. Lee didn’t remember that the novel “survived” the decades since her master work became a beloved literary sensation.

This development prompted this fellow writer (please don’t ever refer to me as a “wordsmith” as I find it silly, demeaning, and an insult to real smiths) to pose some questions:

1. Does Ms. Lee, a superb storyteller, observer of pivotal moments in the past century and someone with an obvious command and love of the language, have other non-published forgotten manuscripts besides “Watchman?” Perhaps there’s a worn manila folder stuffed into a dusty cabinet somewhere that’s holding another Harper Lee literary treasure.

2. Are the rights for “Watchman” already being  negotiated to be made into a film? Hey, a cinematic sequel — as well as a prequel — has been done successfully before, especially those involving Jedi knights, Hobbits and Bruce Willis.

3.  And, why has Ms. Lee not been compelled to share thoughts on the beauty and ugliness that shaped our modern world? After all, she divided her time between New York City and her home town of Monroeville.  Surely both places offered the potential for inspiration. Plus, writers … well, write.

Not sure if Ms. Lee and her publisher have secured public relations counsel, but I’d gladly offer my services if called upon.  Full disclosure: I’ve never developed a strategic communications plan for a novel, but I have some experience writing fiction.

In fact, I published “installments” of a short story, “Snapdragons in November,” in this space way back in 2010.  The links below will provide access.

Rest assured: If I earn a Pulitzer for “Snapdragons,” it will not be decades until you hear from me again.