The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, July 25, 2014

Old Writers...Old Friends

       Today I am off to interview an old writer--an author in her nineties. (So, when you say you're too old to write a novel and get it published, she did it just recently. So there!)

            I'm hoping that a little of her energy and spunk will land on me...

       I am also going to be visiting someone who is such a worthy opponent (when it comes to all things Seinfeld, songs from our era, and lit-trah-ture), it makes our constant sparring a delight At least it's delightful for me. For her, it's probably a pain in the rear to deal with my pesky  pokes. It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger arm wrestling Don Knotts--when Don Knotts was still alive, of course. Me, I'm racking my brain and digging into the recesses of my memory when I try to trip her up on some Seinfeld trivia or try to stump her with a one-hit wonder. And she? She has it all on the tip of her tongue--her victories come effortless.  She is also a writer but she's been balking about writing a book. A collection of her stories would have us all clamoring to buy it. Because of her reluctance, I'm bringing my electric cattle prod...

       One of those stories--either the interview or the story about my visit with someone who seems like they've been my friend for a long time--will be posted on Monday.

        ...And until then, head over to read Jean Whatley. What? You don't know her? You don't follow her? You should. Read this post. You'll do a little time-traveling of your own--I imagine--as you take a bittersweet journey into the past.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Taking a Risk

          Reading Mary Horner's recent post--about taking a risk and sharing with students/the audience--made me think of writers who share themselves in their writing.

         Some of my favorite authors--Anne Lamott, Augusten Burroughs, Rick Bragg, Mary Karr--are writers who share ...everything. They're brutal. They cut themselves open and lay bare their bones--all the skeletons in their closets come clattering out.

          In May I joined a dozen or so other St. Louis writers for the Listen to Your Mother show. We got up on stage and shared our lives. Some of what we shared made people laugh, and other stories made the audience cry. Almost always I lead with my funny bone, but this time, I didn't.

          If you click on the link above, you'll be able to see me in all six minutes of my splendor. However, consider yourself forewarned. The photographer was ill on the day of the show, and so some of the videos got screwed up. In real life, people often mistake me for Halle Berry, so when you see someone who looks quite different from that, understand: the camera guy had problems...  

        Speaking of risk (again)--I'm friends with some writers who willingly share all sorts of things on paper, and yet when it comes time to share their writing with a live, breathing audience, they hesitate balk. These are writers whose talents are wickedly amazing ...and yet many people miss out on enjoying their gifts because of their reluctance to share at book signings and other events.

        Was there a time when you shared with an audience/family member/friend and the results were encouraging? Perhaps if my shy writer friends hear stories that ended up on a positive note, they might share the next time they get a chance...