One of the things many authors cite as a plus is working at home in sweats or nightclothes. Some famous writers took that a step further.

Clothing is optional for the following seven, according to Neatorama. They wrote in the nude and you can’t quarrel with success. Some don’t give an explanation but some do.

Take Victor Hugo. Neatorama says that when “the famous author of great tomes such as ‘Les MisŽrables’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ ran into a writer’s block, he concocted a unique scheme to force himself to write: he had his servant take all of his clothes away for the day and leave his own nude self with only pen and paper, so he’d have nothing to do but sit down and write.”

Which is not a bad solution to writer’s block. Others on Neatorama’s list:

~ Ernest Hemingway, author of “A Farewell to Arms,” wrote nude standing with his typewriter about waist level.  

~ D. H. Lawrence, who wrote the often-banned “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” liked to climb mulberry trees in the nude before coming in to write. Wonder if that was just a publicity stunt.

~ James Whitcomb Riley, America’s “Hoosier Poet,” had his friends lock him in a hotel room, naked, “so he wouldn’t be tempted to go down to the bar for a drink.”

~ Edmond Rostand, best known for his play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” had too many friends. Sick and tired of interruptions, “he took up working naked in his bathtub.”

~ So did Benjamin Franklin, who liked to take “air baths” where he sat around naked in a cold room for an hour or two while he wrote.

~ Agatha Christie, mystery writer of books which have been translated into 40 languages outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, liked to write anywhere, including the bathtub.

Sources for this information, Neatorama says, is “A Blank Page” by Sam Elmore, “In the Nude” by So Many Books, “Literary Life and Other Curiosities” by Robert Hendrickson and “Dressing to Write” by Bibi’s Beat.  And that’s the naked truth.   

Choose writer for ‘Dancing’

GalleyCat’s item about putting an author on “Dancing With the Stars” is an idea whose time has come. GalleyCat wants readers to pick the “best writer” to appear on the show. Check it out at www.mediabistro.com/ galleycat/dancing-with-the-stars_b13385.

 Reader Michelle Gilstrap suggests that once a writer is selected, “We should start a Facebook page.” That, she said, is “how they got Betty White on Saturday Night Live,” so why wouldn’t it work for an author?

Ten possibilities are in the running: Tatjana Soli, Nora Roberts, Kathy L. Patrick, Claire Cook, Jodi Picoult, Ally Carter, Harlan Coben, David Sedaris and Andy Borowitz. From what I see, Cook appears to be in the lead. I vote for Picoult, because she writes good books and looks good.

‘True Grit’ returns to movie screens

“True Grit,” by Charles Portis, is one of my favorite books of all time; I reread it every few years. Now a new film of the book will hit theatres in December.

To check it out, take a look at the trailer at www.media bistro.com/galleycat/ 13077_b13077. Looks promising, and that’s from someone who loved the 1969 John Wayne version, for which he won an Academy Award.  

This is a Cohen Brothers production and is called “a stark Western,” which worries me somewhat. Yes, there’s a lot of politically inappropriate action in the book and the Wayne movie but also a lot of humor.

Jeff Bridges will appear as Rooster Cogburn and he’s about the only actor I can imagine in big John’s part. Whoever plays Glen Campbell’s character -- the Texas Ranger -- is bound to be better just by showing up.  Also in the movie are Matt Damon and Josh Brolin.

Big name, high hopes

Crown has ordered a 1.5 million-copy first printing for George W. Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” due out Nov. 9. According to Publishers Lunch, there will also be an enhanced e-book edition “featuring video highlights of Bush’s presidency, photographs not included in the hardcover book, and personal correspondence.”

So many books, so little time

Idina Sackville, descendent of one of England’s oldest families, “went off to Kenya in search of adventure and became known as the high priestess of the scandalous ‘Happy Valley Set.’” To do this, she left her two children in England with their father and didn’t see either one for 15 years.

In this entire book -- “The Bolter” by Idina’s great-granddaughter Frances Osborne -- the woman does not have a single redeeming characteristic that I can see, unless you count wearing couture clothes well.

Praise on the back of the book: “An engaging, definitive final look back at those naughty people who, between the wars, took their bad behavior off to Kenya and whose upper-class delinquency became gilded with unjustified glamour.” Real bad behavior.

My current read is “Dog Tags” by David Rosenfelt, a legal thriller with fast talking plus an unusual protagonist: a German shepherd named Milo locked up for larceny. Only a third through it but I already like Milo better than I liked Idina.

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