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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Saturday, June 9 2001

Writing secrets

A "confession" in yesterday's entry suggested today's topic. It was: "I try to write in a way that stirs [nostalgic] feelings in all of us, so the "real" feelings are not as acute [to me] as they [may] seem."

Throughout my teens and early 20s I read Walter Winchell's daily columns in the Tribune Democrat. He was then the nation's most popular columnist so, aspiring to be a columnist myself, it seemed incumbent upon me to follow him, and I got hooked on his "shtick." Later, after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, for many years I read the daily column of Herb Caen, a local variant on Winchell with fewer axes to grind. I read Caen more out of habit and curiosity than for educational purposes, having graduated to magazine editor rather than columnist.

One thing they had in common that always fascinated me was their love of their respective cities, New York and San Francisco. In reality, I couldn't know whether they really loved their towns, but the marvel was how often they could write columns extolling the beauties and allure of them. They seemed to never tire of that topic. And I suspected all along that the practice was the main thing making them both supremely popular with readers.

I'd like to be able to do the same with Nanty Glo, though it's not nearly as complex as either New York or San Francisco. And in Thursday's entry I made a stab at it.

However, you listmembers were not the first "audience" intended for that piece. It came about because on Tuesday evening I attended my first writers' group in many years on the invitation of one of my former writing students. The group's format is to spend about an hour actually writing in each other's presence. Afterward, the participants read aloud what they've written. In the introductions, I indicated that most of the "creative" writing I do these days is for the Jonal entries. When the working hour began I had no idea what I would write, but Thursday's piece came to me. So it's written in a "voice" that isn't usually used here, yet I felt it was something many of you might relate to. It was written as an example to the other writers in the group not only of what I do in the Jonal, but an explanation of what Nanty Glo is and was and means to me.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

The Top 40 Things You Will Never Hear A Southern Boy Say

35. We don't keep firearms in this house.
34. Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
33. You can't feed that to the dog.
32. I thought Graceland was tacky.
31. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Four more to grow on

"Most people who fail do so because their need to be liked is stronger than their desire to succeed." Steve Brown (Chairman of The Fortune Group)
"Reality never creates problems. Our refusal to accept reality is what creates the problems." Phil Steffen
"If you don't risk anything, you risk even more." Erica Jong
"When you win, nothing hurts." Joe Namath (after NY Jets won Super Bowl III)


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