Saturday, March 27, 2010


You are indebted at the very least to the following writers:

1. Mark Twain--who got you started thinking you could, too.
2. Louise Erdrich--who made even the smallest walk-on seem gifted and magical.
3. Daniel Woodrell----who knows how to elegantly frustrate his characters.
4. John Steinbeck--for first causing you to feel the goddamned Salinas River.
5. Jane Austen--who did not always say what she meant nor mean what she said.
6. Grace Metalious--who showed you how even soap opera could be compelling.
7. Graham Greene--who show you where to put the humor.
8. Digby Wolfe--who showed you how what you considered humor wasn't.
9. Bobbie Ann Mason--who showed you what POV really means.
10. F. Scott Fitzgerald--for showing you how to use lyricism in the midst of a story.
11. Richard Price--for showing you how to listen.
12. Sarah Orne Jewett--for explaining regionalism to you.
13. Rachel Maddux--for showing you where care begins.
14. Mazo de la Roche--for hooking you early on people who were completely foreign to you.
15. Dorothy B. Hughes--for luring you into the Mystery Writers of America
16. Vera Casperay--for showing you what happens when your narrator falls for a dame.
17. Day Keene--for showing you there was nothing wrong with a novel a month.
18. Louis L'Amour--for nudging you into better ways to begin.
19.Lawrence Lipton--for showing you what professionalism meant.
20. Hilary Mantel--for showing you how to find the new buried within the old, old.
21. Sol Stein--for urging you to never take the reader where the reader wants to go.
22. Adela Rogers St. John--for failing to embarrass you.
23. Geoffrey Chaucer--for The Pardoner and The Wife of Bath: Middle-Ages Noir.

Individually and in the aggregate, these and a handful of others led you to see that any success you could ever hope to achieve would come from you being more you, in fact entirely you, and not them.

1 comment:

Querulous Squirrel said...

What a wonderful list and what a wonderful exercise. I have to do such a thing, but first I need to do more reading.