I took in the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild conference this last weekend. It was a great conference, and I had all kinds of interesting conversations with other writers (topics ranged from bar fights to politics, which is sometimes kind of the same thing, I guess).
Anyway, one thing that stuck with me was Tim Wynne-Jones’ comments on how people become writers. Basically, it’s like playing basketball – when you start out, you’re having fun, and you’re a slightly better shot than the other kids, or a little quicker, etc… At some point you have to work hard to develop that talent, but in the beginning it comes down to a love of the game and what might be a slim advantage over your peers.
And I thought that metaphor really rang true. When I think about why I became a writer, it probably comes down to a love for good stories. And my grandma, Mary Guenther, is the first person who helped me develop that story ear.
Twitter exploded this week when Dugan Arnett, a reporter with the Kansas City Star, broke the Daisy Coleman story. Daisy says she was raped in January 2012 by a football player in her high school. Her friend says she was raped at the same party.
And from the surface it looks like there may have been political interference in the investigation. A special prosecutor will be looking at the case, so hopefully someone gets to the bottom of all this.
Daisy and her friend Paige have spoke openly about their experiences, inspiring support from legions of people, including Anonymous. But the usual, gross victim blamers have popped up, too, along with people who may have good intentions, but are simply misguided.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mann argues that North Americans (pre-European) actively managed their landscape (including farming), in a way that usually balanced the needs of their societies with the need to protect the environment.
Overall I enjoyed this book. As a farm journalist and former farm kid, I was particularly interested in the sections that dealt with agriculture. Some sections were a little less interesting to me personally, and I found it pretty information dense (although I suppose that’s what we should want in a book detailing history). I would definitly recommend it to anyone interested in North American history.
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Sometimes when I run into friends I haven’t seen in a while and they ask what I’ve been up to, I’m not sure what to say. After all, my life isn’t usually all that interesting. I work, I write, I ride horses, I spend too much time on the Interweb, etc…
Not that interesting. I mean, watching someone write is like watching paint dry. And I try not to subject non-horse people to too many horse details because then I just sound like a long-winded horsey weirdo.
But hey, last week I did some interesting stuff!