First, I'm teaching this class on submitting stories to magazines. You're allowed to sign-up now.
Second, fellow Team Decker member Jon McGoran has this cool eco-thriller out this week. DRIFT
Now back to our regular programming, already in progress.
Monday I had to drive a truck across the state and move big heavy manly things because that's the kind of truck-driving, manly guy I am when I'm driving a truck like a truck-driving tough guy that I am all butch and stuff.
So I lathered on some extra hemorrhoid cream and got my lumbar pillow and vitamin water and set off like the strong brute I am.
I don't usually listen to the FM radio, except on special occasions, which this was. The tagline for this one station, the only one that would come in for more than a minute, was "We play anything . . . and lots of it."
What an odd selling point. Can you imagine? One minute you're listening to Fine Young Cannibals and the next it's Lynyrd Skynyrd and then Billy Joel and then The Wallflowers.
("I turned the engine, but the engine wouldn't turn." Howzat? Because, if you turn a thing, then the thing is turned. Maybe you mean that you turned the key in the ignition, but the engine refused to "turn over," as the folks say. A real mechanic person probably can explain this. I'm just a truck-driving man, myself. (Which reminds me of the major problem in Paul Simon's "How Can You Live in the Northeast?" In that song, he sings the following: "We watched the fireworks, until they were fireflies." Now, I think in most places, fireflies come out at dusk. Before dark. That's why you can run around and catch them without impaling yourself on a fence post in the darkness. So I think it probably starts out with fireflies at dusk, then fireworks when it's completely dark. So you watch fireflies until there are fireworks, maybe. Because fireworks tend to be more beautiful in complete darkness. Like pop songs.))
Recently we've been talking on the internet about how YOU YES YOU should read more [people not you]. Which is probably a good idea. I don't think you need to require that you read two women for every man or one minority for every majority or anything like that. I just think it's a good idea to read widely. See, I like living in a world where folks are well rounded. But I don't think it's something that we ought to limit to just the sex or skin color or creed.
I love, love the idea of reading more different various authors.
And I also love the idea of reading more different various types of books.
|Tony Cenicola/The New York Times|
I don't do this enough, but I'm usually damn happy and surprised when I come across something I wasn't expecting. Like Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower book. Or Jenny Lawson's Bloggess book. Or Katherine Graham's autobio.
Reading a serial killer series and a mob enforcer and a crooked cop trilogy all together, if each author is a different race/religion/sex/etc-- can be one kind of diversity, sure.
But, like the radio station that will play "anything," it's a limited kind of variety.
The radio station never played anything by Bartok, Cheech & Chong, or Loretta Lynn. It never played a World Series game. It never played a twenty-minute spoken word essay from David Sedaris.
Speaking of music, Rosanne Cash's memoir has gotten good reviews.
I think reading authors who are different than you are is a great plan. So is reading books you don't normally read.
Feel free to post your OUT OF THE NORM reading selections.