Monday, July 20, 2015

Watchman and Writers

Yesterday I read this book.  Today I mourn the loss of Scout and Atticus.  Today I am angry at the publishing company that clearly saw a money grab, taking advantage of a respected writer and all the readers who were and continue to be charmed and informed by To Kill a Mockingbird.

I will not go into the details of my disgrunteledness since there are plenty of people who will read and respect this work. I will not tarnish it further with my opinions.  My watchman has been set.

Instead, how about a few words about “Writers I Have Known”?  Oops – gotta confess that this topic was inspired by “Watchman” when a character articulated something I have never been able to.  Simply put (and I paraphrase here) some people “write”, others are “writers”. Makes sense to me.   I write.  I string words together and say things.  I end my ideas with a . giving little thought to the continuity of what I offer. My consciousness is raised every time I learn that someone has read one of my posts and I for a while I try to do better.

  Writers toil.  They hover over each word until, when joined together, those words form sentences – paragraphs – impact.  They concern themselves with an overall body of work that will bear their names and influence, inspire, provoke...

Writers are my rock stars, my movie idols, my brushes with fame, and for the most part, those brushes have been much more than I ever expected.  Mike Perry, Tom Maltman, Sally Goldenbaum, T Greenwood, Steve Head are just a few of the writers I have had the good fortune of working with over the years. They are keenly and sincerely aware of how important their readers are, and never fail to acknowledge that.  Their relationship with me always begins selflessly with what they can do for me, what they can do to promote reading, literacy, libraries and independent bookstores. 

You know what else? They answer emails from readers, respond to readers’ Facebook posts and Skype with book discussion groups.  Just last month Tom Maltman Skyped with a Manitowoc group.  Of course there are others who always begin the discussion with what I can do for them.  Where will I place their book in the store?  When will I feature it on my blog or on Facebook?  And they do it with aggression.  Oh well...they are the minority.

Watching local people write and self publish has been another treat for me.  They generously share their enthusiasm as projects grow and come to fruition.   Their joy is always tempered with humility – such a nice combination. 

My life is good – thanks to fine friends, a silly dog,  and the opportunities that come along with bookselling.  

Gotta go – there’s a book calling.  Actually, I have returned to Chet and Bernie,
The Sound and the Furry.  I think I might have already read this one.  Still fun, though.

As for the Great Hemingway Project, well, that might be a lost cause.  Every year I dream up a little scheme.  Two year ago it was writing a haiku a day for a year.  The result? Eighteen.  Pathetic.  Haiku.  Then Hemingway happened.  Little success there either. Next idea?  This I am sure I will stick to.  Each time I have plans to so something fun - dinner with friends, art show... whatever, I am going to invite Johnny Depp to join me.  How's that?   Please do not steal this idea from me.  I don't want him to have to make choices.  

Thanks for stopping by.