Mine! *thunder cracks* MuahahAhAHAhahAHA!!!
Thank you. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let me give you a brief rundown on some of the changes around the ol’ MGC. I’m moving from the fourth Friday of the month to every Tuesday afternoon. That’s right: more Dave. (I’ll pray for you, you poor, lost souls.)
To that end, I’m going to be starting a couple of regular series. First off, Noob Notes. Since afternoon posts are often shorter, punchier, and full of great pith, I’m going to reach out and grab an aspect of the writing process and wring the juice out of it, then serve it up with my characteristic verve-
Whaddaya mean, I don’t have verve? I got bags of verve. Bags. What? Well, I set traps for pixies, and then I harvest theirs. Cheaper, and economies of scale mean I never run out AND I can put little baggies of it on eBay- WHAT! It’s a great side hustle- Yeah, well, pixies are vermin.
Now that you’ve gotten that out of your system, perhaps I can get back to my post? Yes? Thank you. As I said: with my characteristic verve. *glares* I may or may not exercise judicious joie de vivre. Don’t tempt me.
The other series is going to be a set of commentaries on Steven Pressfield’s
War of Art, which parts I’ve swapped for the original at least once in every conversation in which I’ve brought it up. It’s a cute title, but the clever is wearing off at speed. That said, it’s full of great nuggets of wisdom about what keeps a writer from actually getting to work. Even if you have no problem with the putting together of the words and the sentence-making and all that nifty stuff, you could benefit.
Mixed in, I’ll be looking into a mess of nonfiction for some projects I’m pursuing, and I plan to share bits and pieces of what I find that relate to pursuing the craft of writing, or making art. Y’know, whichever comes first.
To that end, I just read Louis L’Amour’s Education of a Wandering Man, and I recommend it to anybody, but especially to any writer. My grandfather worked as a library administrator in Los Angeles for many years, and amassed a substantial collection of L’Amour’s work, which he spent no small amount of energy pushing on his grandsons. I wish I’d managed to get to all of them before he got rid of them. The stories of grit and survival are great fun, and an exceptional education to the working writer.
In the same vein, throughout Education, L’Amour offers vignettes into his life: his “knockaround years” plying his way as a migrant worker before and during the Depression, as a seaman on tramp steamers, and later as he worked to establish a writing career. The primary purpose of his book, however, is a record of his reading, a demonstration of how he intentionally used whatever printed word he could find to further his knowledge. Interestingly, he has a rather lengthy bibliography in the back of the book. While he mentions many of the books he read were out of print in his youth, I’ll be looking into it, and report back to you, dear readers. So go grab Louis L’Amour’s Education of a Wandering Man, and feel bad about your work ethic, like I do!