I don’t like to talk or write about writing — but when forced to do so by, say, an approaching deadline, I will. I am, in fact, doing so right now. But I’ll be concise: have a beginning, have an ending, and don’t worry about the middle.
With literary tours, literary pub crawls, monuments, plaques, and museums, Scotland honors her writers.
For awhile everything was in control. But that didn’t last. It never does. Once again my books are in total disarray. I can spend hours looking for a book I should find in a few minutes. The only good thing about this situation is that it provides an opportunity to re-shelve my books. And it gives me an excuse to reread Larry McMurtry’s books about books.
For Wiley Cash, being a writer is not about milestones in his career that define his passion. Rather, it’s the simple idea of a person sitting down with a blank page, one ready to be filled with the unlimited possibility of creative prose.
“For a longtime, I thought if I’m a writer it will mean ‘this’ or if I write a New York Times bestseller it will mean ‘this,’” he said. “But, I realized that it’s all the same work. It’s still the act of putting words on a page, and trying to do it in a manner that’s more believable and true than what you did the day before.”
A writer looking at a blank page is a like a painter staring at a fresh canvas, a sculptor facing a block of clay or a woodworker holding a chunk of wood. The desire to grab words from thin air and construct them into sentences, notions and ideas comes from an internal fire to describe human emotion and situation. It is a calling, one that picks its creators when the time and place is prime. Writers are messengers, connecting the unknown cosmos to an everyday modern reality.
Little bits of local lore riddle the pages of Ron Rash’s Serena.
“As a fiction writer I know I am going to get things wrong, but you do the best you can to get those details as correct as possible,” Rash said. “If we can get enough things right, I think it allows the reader to stay in the dream. Very specific, authentic details allow the reader to believe everything else that is being made up.”
It’s been nearly a century since the logging boom swept across Appalachia, but the story is timeless, forever engraved on the landscape and in the psyche of mountain people.
“It permanently and irrevocably changed the entire face of Western North Carolina,” said Jason Brady, a special collections librarian at Western Carolina University.
David Joy doesn’t look like your typical writer. Then again, Joy isn’t your typical writer.
Stepping into Innovation Brewing in Sylva last week, I bellied up to the counter, ordered a drink and looked around for the whereabouts of my interview. Conversation swirled throughout the space about the impending Wednesday night snowstorm, with a few flakes already cascading down outside the foggy windows.
The beauty of literature is its solely unique power of transportation.
That beauty lies in the meticulous arrangement of words, phrases and sentences on a simple black and white page, where upon decoding the message you conjure endless colors, scents and landscapes. You find yourself walking the streets of far away places in forgotten eras, faces and voices long since put six feet under, all covered up in dust under the bed of a modern world.
The key to opening the portals to these places lies in the fingertips of the writer. Sitting down and letting the images in your mind pour out onto the blank page is a sacred act, one where you let the story unfold in front of you rather than racing to find a conclusion. Crafting a story is a delicate and often misunderstood process. To find the perfect word, one must travel to the deepest, darkest corners of their soul, in search of the ideal conflict that is located at the foundation of every great story.
There are movies that I simply cannot turn off once I stumble into them when I am switching channels, which I do whenever there is a commercial, as men have been hardwired to do since the dawn of the remote control. One of those movies is “Fargo,” by the Coen brothers, which I consider to be one of the five best movies ever made. Another is “Tombstone,” a western that I do not really even consider to be a very good movie, though it does contain an astonishing performance by Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.
In fact, it is Kilmer’s Holliday that compels me to keep watching every time I find “Tombstone” on cable. I can tell within five seconds exactly where we are in the movie, what scene featuring Holliday will come up next, and what the dialogue is in that scene, even when Holliday and his nemesis Johnny Ringo are trading ominous bits of Latin in their first encounter in the Oriental Saloon.