Pulling Out the Savoy Truffle

Reflections on music, literature, politics, and pop culture from retired rock musician, writer, and college professor Jim Booth. Email comments to Jim at jim@jimbooth.org.

Location: Advance, North Carolina, United States

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Reading, Not Writing

"I have my books/And my poetry to protect me...."
Paul Simon

I've been quiet lately. I'm not sure why. Maybe all writers do this. I know this one does.

Instead of writing (I find the term blogging too silly/sad/supernal for my comfort) I've been doing a lot of reading . I've been reading stories out of Richard Ford's edition of The Granta Book of the American Short Story, a novel by the Canadian author Alistair MacLeod, and my pal Bob Greene's new novel in manuscript.

I've also given my friend Sam Smith some feedback on a couple of poems and have been reading and answering emails from friends and colleagues.

This isn't counting the student papers I've read and commented upon.

Last night I read a bunch of anecdotes about the great American musician Frank Zappa. Here's a great quote from him:

"There is no hell. There is only France."

I don't believe FZ's assertion. I've been to France a couple of times and the food's great, the wine's better, and the women are ooh la la , especially in Paris.

This happens to me a lot. Maybe it happens to you, too. You read or hear something that at heart you don't believe, but you see the humor and truth in what's said, too. Almost all of us have had this experience.

Here's an example: "I love you."

See what I mean? You might not believe at heart what the person's saying, but you see the humor and truth in it....

I've wandered from my topic. I can hear Holden Caulfield's speech class yelling "Digression!" even now....

So I've been reading a lot lately and not writing (except for that necessary stuff to get through the professional day of a college professor).

That's not writing, folks. That's more akin to a quarterback calling signals....

Something else.

I haven't been entirely happy with this blog. It hasn't met my needs as a person or my urges as a writer.

So I'm changing it.

Sorry if you were hoping I'd stop. No such luck.

I'm feeling ready to write again. So I'm going to write and write somewhat differently than I've written here before.

It's going to be less distaff publc commenting and more writerly sharing.

I think we'll all like that better.


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