Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Words of Wisdom from the TFOB

I reread the notes in my Moleskine last night, as I regaled Big Cuter with my day at the Tucson Festival of Books.  He's a fan of Patrick Rothfuss in particular and fantasy in general; I tried to make it real for him.  As I revisited the day in my head, I realized that there were many more pearls of wisdom hidden in the talks and that yesterday's post only scratched the surface.

So, today, I bring you The Best of Ashleigh's Notes:
*****
"Research is so seductive."

"Writing from history is the best: you are given a great story 
and you don't have to make anything up."

"I have a folder full of Books I Never Wrote."

The Loch Ness Theory: 
If people are making money off the legend, 
they will lie to keep it so.

On the main players at the OK Corral:
Wyatt Earp had a "deep, cold well of rage, which he kept hidden."
"Old Man Clanton was a real son-of-a-bitch."

John Grisham's prodigious output and phenomenal success 
has put pressure on other authors to do as he does: produce a book a year.

Knowing that Stephan Pastis loved the Mr. Bill segments of Saturday Night Live explains a lot.
For those in the audience who were ignorant of his existence, 
Mr. Pastis described Mr. Bill as "a character who died in awful ways."  
He had a comical glint in his eye.  
As I said, it explains a lot.
I think I might enjoy his strip more if I read it in an afternoon paper.
I prefer a less hostile start to my day.

"We are only the temporary guardians of our atoms."

Questions like these are at the forefront of cosmology right now:
Is an event horizon mute to information?
Is information stored in the event horizon of a black hole?
I loved the fact that I have a vague-hazy-better-than-I-did-ten-years-ago understanding of the issue.

"The most interesting things are happening on television today, not in the movies."

"George (R.R.Martin) is an emotionally ruthless author."

And, finally, there was this:
A novel was written.
The main character was despicable, even to the author.
His agent loved the book but couldn't sell it.
The main character was too loathsome.
The author was at a loss so he went home and asked his father what to do.
"Add a dog. Everybody likes dogs."
He did.
They did.

My moral?  The reason I love the TFOB? Why reading and readers and writers fill my soul?  Because even as I'm laughing in a cold tent on a blustery Saturday morning, I'm reminded that the same lesson can be both simple and profound. 
Which lesson?  
It's okay to ask for help.

Thank you to the woman who offered to spare me the trip down the steps to the end of the line by inviting me to join her party.  I was headed elsewhere, but she gets credit for the good deed anyway. Thanks to the 20-something who offered me his seat right by the doorway, as I paused to catch my breath.  Thanks to the security officer whose concern for my limp-with-a-hiking-pole trek across campus nearly broke my heart.  I was fine, ma'am; I took my time and arrived safely.

This event is a milestone for me. I went from racing in Keens to being pushed in G'ma's wheelchair to stumbling slowly to one venue and then home to this year, spending two days, lurching but moving and doing what I wanted to do.  I'm forced to think of my recovery and evaluate my progress.  I'm glad that I can do it surrounded by thousands of others who are also thinking their own deep thoughts.

Thanks for the help, TFOB.

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