Monday, November 12, 2007

Conference for readers and writers

We rolled into Clifton, Texas, on a magic carpet knitted together by words.

Whoa, Nellie. That's powerful writing. More accurately, that sentence is powerfully over-written. But I kinda like it, nonetheless.

Words did take us to Clifton over the weekend. The occasion: the fourth annual Books on the Bosque, a conference for readers and writers. Our little band of co-authors was billed as the keynote speakers and we sold some books.

Once again, I was reminded how some people love words. The nine other authors presented passionate insights into their lives as writers. Jan Peck stunned me when she said she worked for two years honing a children's book that was only 200 words long. Each word was obviously important.

I've always been a slap-dash kind of writer. During the early days of our little weekly newspaper, I had to double as a speech writer to feed the family. I would pore over the research from the Lt. Gov's office from nine until around eleven p.m. and then sleep, perhaps to gestate. Because at four a.m. I would get up and start writing speeches for the lite guv. By eight a.m., I would often have two speeches written. Then it was back to my day job at the newspaper.

The speeches were not works of art, but I cashed the check.

I've never considered myself a real writer. More of a journeyman. And I do enjoy writing. And writers. Mostly.

Best opening line of a novel: "Goddamn rooster!" (paints a picture real quick.) Sadly, I cannot remember the author or the book. Any help?

Best lines from a children's book: Life was hard on the Indian reservation. "My parents came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people all the way back to the very first poor people." From The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Best spoof: (after J. K. Rowling outted Dumbledore): "Author hints at Existance of Two More Mohicans." There are more nuggets at the blog site.

I would like to tell you more about Clifton. It's an amazing little town. Later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved to see your reference to Alexie -- he's a good writer if a bit biased. Loved his short story about the train ride to Washington. I saw "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was on the tube the other night, but the written words are so much more beautiful. Also saw "Lambs for Lions" and can only imagine that the book had to be much better. Lots to think about, and all because a writer took the time to put those words to paper. No matter what you call yourself, George, I enjoy reading what you write. As the owner of our newspaper is fond of saying, "Keep firin'." -- Denise

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