Kerry Sackville, blogger high priestess, talked about blogging and...wow. Not only was she informative, funny, and searingly honest, she stuck to the point.
You know that weird experience, the one where you read the blurb, pay your money, turn up to the talk/class/session and half the time is wasted on subjects that might be fascinating to the look-at-me questioner and all you want to do is shout, " We came here to listen to the speaker" or "Get to the point!"
And Steven King, in his book "On Writing" which is essential reading for every would-be writer, has put to rest my wild idea I can become great.
"If you're a bad writer, no one can help you become a good one, or even a competent one. If you're a good writer and want to become a great one, fuhgeddaboudit."
His theory is that, like genetically gifted catwalk models, there are some writers who are so sublimely gifted, even they don't know where it comes from. He goes on to describe his thoughts on how a good writer can become a really good writer.
Saves me a lot of time and angst thinking I should write a small literary antagonized oeuvre which may sell 900 copies and be praised for ...well, the agony, just so I can say I can do something other than write popular mysteries. Bless him, saved me months and years of ...well, agony.
Preachers...and here I am thinking of my late Uncle Mac, minister in the Church of Scotland and lovely man. From gifted preachers you can learn rhythm. And the rhythm of how people speak can say more about your character than any adjective. Read Elmore Leonard if you don't believe me. Or listen to the Big Labowski. Or Dr King. Or Obama.
As for parking meters...take the bus, the train, a tuk-tuk. As a writer you learn more about people when taking public transport than any other way I know of. Eavesdropping is good, but wear dark glasses as eyes betray the listener.Especially good is the train from Sydney to Newcastle where everyone seems to be on the phone, sublimely unaware of the writer memorizing the best of lines..."He said, 'You came into this marriage with a suitcase and that's all you'll leave with.' But its been twenty seven years, I'll need more than one."
Walking is good too. Saves money, saves your back, reminds you what fresh air tastes like.