“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”—W. Somerset Maugham
Rest in peace, Mr. Prine. Thanks for all the incredible music.
I wasn’t sure which song to share for this post, there are so so so many great ones. He gets credited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, and I can’t argue with that title. There’s something about his lyrics that are so approachable and yet so evocative. He does so much with so little. Once, when called out for listening to country music on a jukebox, Charlie Parker advised Dizzy Gillespie and some friends to “listen to the stories.” I think about that interaction a lot, and I can’t think of anyone that embodied country music’s storytelling persona better than John Prine. He will be missed.
Stephen L. Betts & Patrick Doyle had an excellent piece in Rolling Stone covering Prine’s extraordinary career, and it’s very much worth a read. Since most of us are still staying home and doing our part to flatten the curve, it’s a good time to put on his music and let his gravelly voice take you to a different time and place. You won’t regret it.
Today is November 1st, which means it’s National Author’s Day! Hooray! No matter how successful the author, the act of writing can be a lonely gig, and this day (Established in 1949) is here to commemorate authors you love and help make their day just a little bit brighter. How can you do that? Here are a few easy ways:
- Buy their books. (I mean, it’s a given, but still.)
- Leave a review for their books on Goodreads, Amazon, your blog, or wherever.
- Tell your friends. Heck, buy a few books for your friends.
- Ask for your local library to stock your favorite author’s books.
- Talk about their books on social media.
Any or all of those simple things will go a long way to encourage the authors you love and make their day a bit better. If you want to spread the love on social media, consider using the hashtag #NationalAuthorsDay.
Have an author whose work you love? Share their work in the comments!