Clarion West Write-a-thon, Day 1: Easy-breezy lemon-squeezy

Posted: June 23, 2013 in music, Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Write every day

I subscribed to The Writer when I was in high school. I remember reading about a writing couple, Borden Deal and Babs Deal. (They don’t make names like that anymore. Can’t get the stuff.) They always said to each other, “Well, I’ve hit 50 pages, looks like I’m writing a novel.”

Well, I’ve hit 50 pages. Actually, 56. Looks like I’m writing a novel. I’ve put together a notebook of reference material and I even have a vague sense of where I’m going. I hope to show some real progress by the time this marathon ends on August 2. I’ll report in every day on what I’m up to.

Today Special D and I went to some garage sales, met some interesting people with interesting junk in their garages, and then I wrote a cover letter and answered three essay questions for a job I want. This is one of the weirdest forms of writing, making yourself sound like the greatest thing since Kim Kardashian met Kanye West. After a creative nap to rinse my brain, I worked on my book for an hour and a half. I hope my 300 fellow Write-a-thonners had good luck as well!

My thanks again to the three people who have pledged actual money to support Clarion West and see me through this thing:

Karen G. Anderson
Mitch Katz
Laurel Sercombe

My book is set in the summer of 1947 in what’s called the Intermountain West. I’ve been reading books from that era and earlier to help put me in the right frame of mind. I didn’t get far with John Steinbeck’s East of Eden (his descriptions of the Salinas Valley are beautiful, but his characters are like sermons). Right now I’m reading Hal Borland’s Country Editor’s Boy, a memoir set in Colorado in the teens and ’20s. The writing can be kind of earnest, but this is a man who even in middle age could recall his boyhood and put it in words. Like Ray Bradbury, without the airborne prose.

Borland wrote When the Legends Die, which was made into a film with Richard Widmark. He also wrote a memoir called The Dog Who Came to Stay. The title sums up that book so perfectly that I probably don’t have to read it.

BTW, Special D has also entered the Write-a-thon, but we refuse to be called Babs and Bord.

See you tomorrow!

Not-So-Random Pick of the Day
Boston, Boston (1976)
I am not Boston’s fan, but today is Accused of Lurking’s birthday and he definitely is. Lurk holds a special spot in my life, and so out of friendship and love I listened to all of Boston for the first time since the Normans invaded New England.

I am still not their fan, but I credit computer wiz Tom Scholz with creating not just one of the best-selling albums of all time, but a debut album that could easily stand in for his greatest hits. Scholz had all the talent he needed from the first note of the first track, and how many musicians can make that claim? In fact, in the beginning Boston was solely Tom Scholz. The only person I can think of who made a similar splash all by himself was Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine, 1989).

But there’s more to Boston than the music. In the summer and fall of 1976, I could not go to a party without hearing this album. Thus the songs on Boston will always conjure for me my old joie de vivre, my youthful hopes, and the geometry of certain females.

Random Pan of the Day
3OH!3, Omens (2013)
Boston may not be my style but it beats the brains out of this thing. Not only did these derivative snore masters from the 303 area code choose a name as stupid as Fun., !!!, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Portugal. The Man, they’re responsible for Kei$ha. Tom Scholz never did any of that to us.

R.I.P.: Slim Whitman, multi-octave country yodeler, who wanted to be remembered as a nice guy. “I don’t think you’ve ever heard anything bad about me, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’d like my son to remember me as a good dad. I’d like the people to remember me as having a good voice and a clean suit.”

  1. Barb says:

    8 track player blasts Boston.
    Kegger beer smells stale.
    College dorm ’77.

  2. Accused of Lurking says:

    Thank you, Run-DMSteve. I weep with joy for our birth state of Massachusetts. The Boston album and the song “More Than A Feeling” are especially poignant for me as I was dating a woman named Marianne at the time they were released.

    • Run-DMSteve says:

      The planets must’ve lined up for you two….I just thought of an episode of Married…With Children where “War” came on the radio and Peg and Al cried, “It’s our song!”

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