Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pot and Kettle

 "A blog is a sort of public diary where someone wrote down random thoughts, then other people for some odd reason enjoy reading them.  Who the hell reads this nonsense?"  So asked the author of a novel I just read.

Okay.  He is a published writer, a much published author;  you know the type:  five-foot shelf of books with his name on the spines, NYT best-seller list again and again.  Certainly entitles him to denigrate my scribbling.  Well, not exactly.  He has a right to express his opinion whether or not it is denigrating, whether or not he is an accomplished writer.

And thus it is that I ask, "Who the hell reads his drivel?" Obviously I do, or have done, anyway. So, I am going to spill what I think.  Some of these much-published authors very likely once wrote a book that received glowing critical acclaim, was touted to the skies by the press and the literati.  The book then sold well enough to hit the best-seller list.  His next effort may well have been trash, he having burned himself out in one blaze of glory.  But the publisher needs the money.  So they contract a host of ghost writers to churn out stuff on which they can stick his name and ballyhoo endlessly.  Money!  For the use of his name the "author" gets to sit on the beach in Paradise drinking daquiris whilst the spondoolicks roll in.

At least that is what I think. 

(Based on zero evidence, as you might suspect,  Isn't that the way the world works?)

Saturday, December 14, 2019

When Towns Decorated

Christmas nostalgia, continued.  December, 1952.  Fall term completed on our Seattle campus.  Friend Art had a  1950 Mercury, lived in Wichita and was going home for holiday break.  Sure, he'd be happy to drop me off in Colorado Springs.  I get to go home for Christmas!

We were driving east on US 30.  Somewhere in Southern Idaho we crested a rise and swooped down into a town at the base of the plateau.  It was dark, probably two hours after sunset and it was snowing.  We were of course a bit tense, driving carefully, yet not wanting to lose a lot of time.  Slowing into the town, perhaps Montpelier, I'm not sure, we were careful to keep it well within the