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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

'Make yourself available'


I remember in grammar school the teacher asked if anyone had any hobbies. I was the only one with any hobbies and I had every hobby there was... name anything, no matter how esoteric. I could have given everyone a hobby and still had 40 or 50 to take home.
 – Cormac McCarthy

 Born this date in 1933, McCarthy gravitated to writing early, making use of his knowledge of so many things.  In addition to many short stories, he has written a dozen novels spanning everything from the Southern Gothic to Western to Post-Apocalyptic genres.  He’s won awards in each, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Road, a book that also won him the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

Many of his books have been made into movies including No Country for Old Men.   His All the Pretty Horses won both a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award before being made into a terrific movie.  The Road and Child of God also have been adapted for films.

 Cormac McCarthy

One of McCarthy’s writing traits is his non-use of computers.  He’s on his second Olivetti typewriter.  His first, bought for $50 in 1963, was auctioned for over $250,000 in 2009 after he felt it needed more maintenance than he could properly administer (his “cleaning” technique was to blow the dust out with a service station air hose).   He donated the money to charity. 

He got his second Olivetti in 2009 for $11 and went right to work since he almost always has several things underway.  “Even if what you're working on doesn't go anywhere,” he said,  “it will help you with the next thing you're doing.  Make yourself available for something to happen. Give it a shot.”



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