To Be Remembered

I had not scrolled Twitter’s #writingcommunity in a while. (As you probably know, I stopped using Twitter – although I do occasionally still read it.) So I popped by and came across some interesting observations and questions I thought were worth sharing. Here we go:

No.

Yes.

(Sometimes a writer hardly needs to be wordy. LOL!)

I don’t mind silence…

[Photo by me, July 2021.]

…but usually I have some music playing on my iPhone to the side.

I don’t think I ever read a children’s book that my mother or school did not shove at me. I thought they were silly. Cats wearing hats never interested me.

“You have no imagination,” my mother once joked with me… and I don’t think she was entirely kidding. A bit tough for a, say, 8 year old to hear your mother say that. But looking back now, I get what she meant.

By the time I could choose books for myself, at around age 9 or 10, I started pulling some of my dad’s history books – particularly as I recall now Thucydides, Bruce Catton’s U.S. Civil War Army of the Potomac trilogy (in hardcover, which he later gave me and I still have), WWII histories, etc. – off the living room shelf.

And that, as they say, was that.

If it had been written two decades earlier, Harry Potter would have gone right by me unread if it had not been assigned in school. Back around 2000, after all the initial hoopla surrounding it changing the literary and reading universe and all that, and all the talk that adults loved it too, I tried to read my wife’s copy of the first book… and I think I got through about ten pages and gave up. I remember thinking: “I’m an adult now. No one assigned this. There’s no test. I don’t have to read this.” LOL!

Agreed. Just below the ceiling line, I have to my right as I type this, him staring down at me:

I both admire and dislike him pretty much simultaneously. LOL!

There are always going to be someone(s) who question something(s). But the idea that women cannot be at the center of a non-romance story is absurd and anyone who says so should just be blocked and sent on their way. As far back as the 1980s, my uncle wrote a police novel “starring” a woman captain and it did not get more “unromantic” than that novel. (It was optioned as a film by a famous actress, but sadly never got produced.)

As a man, though, as of now I do not think I would write a book primarily from a woman’s perspective. Yes, I write lots of women; but what they say and see, etc., is based largely on what I have heard and experienced myself from women I have known over the years. I am confident up to that point, but I do not know if I would be confident enough to write an entire novel centered on a woman as the main character, so I choose to leave that writing to, to be honest, women.

I may change my mind there of course. Nothing is carved into stone. Still, we all should also know our strengths as well as weaknesses.

Someone has been with me for what, this autumn, will be (I hope) my sixth novel since 2012-2013.

She has the patience of a saint. LOL!

That sixth book in progress?: You know I do not mean to pry, but if I may ask, who was this?”

Having a spellcheck is a good thing. But sometimes it can’t tell the difference remember between “your” and “you’re,” so you cannot 100 percent rely on them. Similarly what might have been the incorrect grammar of the above tweet’s example was corrected, yes,… but corrected in that context incorrectly.

I would NEVER use Grammarly – or any similar app – to write fiction.

Those apps are best used probably for the likes of a job application cover letter. And even then be REALLY careful with them. A HUMAN should ALWAYS proofread it.

Few authors hit it “big” from day one. So chances are you will have to put your head down and write for a decade (at least). As long as you are aware of that as a writer.

If firing off dopey messages like that was what my editor routinely did, I would get another editor. An editor is supposed to be disciplined and “out of sight” flag and offer alternative text where there may be perceived omissions or other problems. Sure, the person should be friendly in communication, but when it comes to corrections like that one the editor should just make the suggestion for me in the margin, etc., which I will see once the entire edit is done.

I write the FULL novel from beginning to end COMPLETELY ALONE. Excerpts you see on here from time to time are all anyone else sees of the work in progress. I NEVER show any more of it to anyone – not even to my wife – until it is a finished and readable full draft that now needs only proofing and perhaps some revisions; THAT is when it goes to my editor.

I believe that writing a novel that has only my name on the cover as the author is NOT a “stealth” group project… where others get input that could well be garbage in the midst of my writing it.

The book is entirely mine – for better or for worse.

What do I do with a blog? Well, I have had this blog since December 2013. And it has been pretty much regularly active since then.

To be honest, I’m still trying to answer that question. 😉

[Kindle lock screen. Photo by me, July 2021.]

To end here on decidedly serious note. Scrolling Twitter for this post, I noticed a writer/poet in the #writingcommunity died on July 15 or so. The tweeted outpourings on the late individual’s behalf by those who interacted with the person have been huge.

Not having heard of the individual until then, I would feel like a phony citing any tweets about the person’s passing. But seeing all of the discussion of the death and the person’s work and, indeed, personality, though, was a blunt reminder. We are all, of course, going to die someday.

If you write, as an author how do you want to be remembered? My view? My books – as published and perhaps ones still to be published assuming I live long enough to write them – I think sum me up pretty well. So I hope I leave behind in them something(s) to be enjoyed after I am gone by readers I will never know.

[“Dear Reader.” Introducing Tomorrow The Grace. Kindle verison. Photo by me, July 2021.]

Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are.

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