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Summer Update

This summer, I’m writing stories, preparing for an adult education course on social media, giving workshops in midtown L.A., helping businesses produce, compete and communicate and finishing studies in an advanced writing course. For some time, though, I’ve wanted to interview experts with whom I’ve been acquainted for many years, so look for new interviews about law, medicine and art on the blog. If you enrolled in my blogging class this week, or you’re reading the post after class, this is an example of teasing the reader with the promise of new material to come. In the near future, I plan to post three new and exclusive interviews about movies, a deadly infectious disease and man’s rights under the law. For me, the interviews are nostalgic because to varying degrees I’ve known, admired or studied with these men through changing, often challenging, times. For the reader, the interviews are intended to inform, enlighten and activate the mind through three distinct voices of clarity and reason. The blog is as always an informal forum for my thoughts but it is for a general adult audience, not a private or semi-private group of chosen friends or followers as on social media. To this end, I hope you like what is coming soon.

My Blog is Six Years Old

scott-holleran-logo-live51Today marks six years for the blog, which I created as an advertisement for my writing and informal outlet for thoughts on arts, culture and ideas. This continues to be a work in progress, with fewer categories than when I started, a larger archive and additions such as children’s literature, product and app reviews, and more tags to accommodate those looking for specific facts and analysis.

Though I still write about controversial issues and topics, most posts concern movies, books and TV with occasional updates on my classes and writings. Look for new posts this year on newspaper, magazine and online articles, conferences, customers and workshops and, as always, announcements. New writing assignments include features, fiction and an exclusive interview with broadcasting pioneer Phil Donahue. I’m finishing studies in a general writing class by Leonard Peikoff. I’ve also been asked to teach a nine-week course on social media this fall.

As I announced last summer, the ‘Donate’ button exists for those who gain value from the blog and want to donate, tip or otherwise sponsor my progress (read the post on donations here). My readers and patrons offer excellent criticism, corrections and thoughtful feedback and I know that I’m fortunate to have the best general readers. Please know that I am grateful, too. Here’s to six years of writing about the world as it is and ought to be and to posting on what matters in the future. Cheers.

Adding a ‘Donate’ Button

Occasionally, I get feedback from readers that comment on the value they get from my blog, which I created both as an informal outlet and as advertising for my professional writing and editorial services. Sometimes, a reader asks how to leave a tip or send a payment, gift or donation.

For example, one reader’s recent note through my Web site expressed a desire to send a gift because he has been “reading and treasuring [my] work for many years”. The individual wrote to thank me for saving money he would have otherwise spent on a terrible film. I activated a PayPal button on the blog and subsequently received a number of benevolent, thoughtful notes with each gift. I’ve always felt awkward about this issue—I know my readers know that writing a blog takes effort yet I want people to feel free to read what I post without obligation—and a friend who reads my blog convinced me that a ‘donate’ button might be useful for someone who wants to pay, give or donate if he chooses. So, PayPal’s ‘Donate’ button now appears beneath the author’s note. Also, let me know if I can help with writing, editing and other services.

The upshot is that gifts or payments are never expected and always appreciated. Every dollar supports my writing. It is my intention that the ‘Donate’ button functions as a voluntary funding source for my works in progress. Thank you for reading.

‘Ayn Rand in Chicago’

I’ve returned from a trip to the Midwest and I’m planning to write about Chicago’s first Objectivist Conference (OCON), where I studied arts and literature from Aristotle to O. Henry, learned about Chicago architecture and watched the 1945 film Love Letters (written by Ayn Rand). I also plan to post on Chicago skyscrapers, hotels and my visit to Taliesin by Frank Lloyd Wright.

I’m finishing a manuscript and writing about true crime on assignment so I haven’t had time to post about movies – I ended up seeing and hating one of the world’s worst movies, Disney’s absurdist The Lone Ranger (a nonstop attack on the original) and I saw, enjoyed and recommend Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel, though surprisingly my favorite summer movie thus far remains World War Z – and I am making plans for fall and winter.

Young ARBut, for those who may have missed reading it on my site archives, I want to share the link to my exclusive report on Ayn Rand in Chicago, currently featured on Capitalism Magazine (please read it here) – which I think is the most comprehensive article about the philosopher’s life in Chicago to date. I interviewed an architect who was inspired by Rand’s Howard Roark character in The Fountainhead and remembers her 1963 visit when Rand delivered her most well-attended lecture, a businessman who organized the event – and recalls the bomb threat – and Ayn Rand’s biographer, Shoshana Milgram, who meticulously details the months after Ayn Rand came to America, before she made it to Hollywood. It’s all very inspiring and I hope you enjoy reading the article.

Have a happy summer.