Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." - John Updike

I've caught the kid-crud. Thing 1 (eldest mutant) has missed several days of school. I wanted to give him a stained old plastic bowl to take to class and use between pre-algebra and European history.

Yet it is hard to push-push-push when you know that the electric blanket is retaining the night's heat (and dreams... and sleep). So I slipped back between the sheets - then promptly puked on the bed. Listen to your intuitions, folks.

I've been writing a lot. I am always amazed by the process (and how everyone's process is unique), but this time feels more spiritual and true. At the end of a writing binge, I read the words and know they will be shared with others. Perhaps it is my natural tendency of cockiness, maybe I suffer from illusions of grandeur. I believe that, after reading hundreds of books, I have a natural ability to know what makes fiction work.

Thus, I haven't been reading as much, so a dip into the mailbag is in order:

I sent you my novel/Why didn't you review my book/Did you get my book?

I'm receiving about 20 requests per month (I *know*! Whodathunkit?) I am choosy about my reading material; after all, it replaces American Idol, Dances with the Stars, and 24. If I received your book and did not write a review, it is because I disliked it. Rather than hurt new writers with crappy reviews, I stay silent. Also, I rarely review those authors whom I know. I'd rather have friends than this blog.

If you could choose an author to sit down with for lunch, who would it be?

Oh, you horrid trappers. For good looks, as well as great writing, I would choose Carl Hiaasen or John Irving. For strictly knowledge, I'm stuck. Suggestions?

I'm 13 and want to be a writer someday. What would you recomend?

First, practice. Practice spelling - "recomend" is spelled "recommend," but your editor will help with that. Write short stories, write descriptions about people, sit and watch behavior and write it down. You are fairly young for the Dinner twist of this blog, but inhale books for breakfast. Read as much as you can. From high school until college, gorge yourself. And *never* let someone tell you that this person or that person is not an author. If you like him or her, figure out what you like. Stick to your guns. More advice for you in 7 years.

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