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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Both a conduit and a storyteller

Celebrating 1,000:  Today’s post marks 1,000 consecutive days of posts to A Writer’s Moment. 
  Thanks for reading!
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“Hemingway was really early. I probably started reading him when I was just 11 or 12. There was just something magnetic to me in the arrangement of those sentences. Because they were so simple - or rather they appeared to be so simple, but they weren't.” – Joan Didion

Like Didion, I was impressed by Hemingway from the start of my own writing career, and today, on the occasion of the 1000th entry in “A Writer’s Moment,” I thought about  him and what I like about writing.   Hemingway was many things, some admirable, some not, but above all he was a great observer of life, of the human condition, and of nature.  If you want to read some great short stories, read his Hills Like White Elephants, and The Killers – maybe among the best in the English language. 
Being a journalist first, I tend to follow the “understated writing style.”  Hemingway was perhaps the first to be famous for it, focusing on sensations while using simple sentence patterns, an economy of words, and  active verbs.   Not a bad model to follow, whether the writing is journalistic, creative – or both.
My “writer’s moments” have mostly been in journalism.   And while feature writing has been my forté I’ve enjoyed working on novels too.  I like the idea that while a novel takes place in the larger world, there's always a part of it that ends up being personal - even if I didn't know it at the time.   As a writer, I’ve been fortunate and glad to serve as a both a conduit and a storyteller because people need stories, not only to share in life but in order to live it too.

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