Saturday, July 22, 2006
In the Vineyard, They Toil
I’ve mentioned three members of my writing group in New Orleans who are widely published, Laura Joh Rowland, Candice Proctor, and Emily Toth. But there are two other members who deserve attention in my blog. These are Steve Harris, the husband of Candice Proctor, and Elora Fink. Both are fine writers, although neither has published much.
Elora single handedly keeps quite a few writers in business. I’ve never met anyone who reads as much or who is so knowledgeable about contemporary writers. The woman devours books the way I eat popcorn shrimp. She goes to signings, reads writer’s blogs, and checks out their websites. She even owns more books than I do and that’s impressive. She’s also a good friend when you need one.
Steve met Candice in our group. I like to think I brought them together. That last is a complete fiction, but then I did tell you I was a writer didn’t I? Yeah, I sometimes make up stuff. Steve is also well read and likes a lot of the same stuff I do. He’s a Koontz fan, for example. I think Steve is the only one of the group who actually read my horror novel, Cold in the Light. He even said that he liked it. That alone makes him a swell fellow, but he also brings a lot of insight to our group on what works or doesn’t work in fiction.
Sometimes I despair about the world. I think about how nasty humans are as a species and how much pain people cause for others. But then I think of folks like Steve and Elora and I know there are still some rebels out there, people who resist the nearly irresistible negative influences of popular culture and the media, people who are cool in my book. (Even if it’s a pretty thin book.)