Every once in a while, Michael Knost posts a question on Facebook about books that we’ve read. For example, his latest question about books was “What was your first book that made an impact on you as a reader?”
I’m often among those who responds. I love books and I appreciate the invitation to share about the books I’ve read. Though, to several different questions that Mike had posted over the years, my answer was “The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.”
This copy here is the exact same copy that I read when I was 12 or 13. I kept it all these years. It was just lying around the house when I was a kid. I believe it came in a box of used books that our aunt Charlotte gave us.
There is no book that I love more than The Outsiders. I relate to Ponyboy in a lot of ways. This is also the only book that I’ve read more than a few times. I read it several times when I was a teenager, and I read it a few more times when I was in my twenties. I plan to read it again. It’s on my to-read list, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
The Outsiders influenced my writing. I feel it every time I’m writing a story. The emotions that I try to bring out of my characters and hopefully my readers. I’m always trying to write something that will shatter even the toughest of my readers. But I’ll probably never pull it off the way S.E. Hinton did.
Well, today was productive. I wrote ten new pages into the novel and I edited 10 pages of a short story.
I’m sad that Mike Resnick died. He once explained to me how he was able to write around 15,000 words a day, finishing novels in a few days. Resnick was one of the writers who inspired me to just bang down one story after another.
This was a very productive day. I might’ve kept going, but the Astro-Ray game started and Verlander is pitching. This is Game 4. If the Astros win today, they win the division. If they lose, there’ll be Game 5.
The Braves and Cardinals are 2-2, so are the Dodgers and Nationals. They’ll all settle in their Game 5s.
I just finished the epic fantasy novel that I stopped writing in 2004. It’s now 707 pages and 141,821 words. This draft is pretty rough and it’s going to need cleaning. I might end up adding more than I take out. But before I start the editing process, I want to finish the series. This was Book One. I hope to have the story wrapped up at the end of Book Three, but it might end up taking four or five books to finish this story.
This is not the first novel I’ve finished, it’s just one that has sat unfinished for fifteen years.
I just sold one of my oldest stories. Been shopping it around for years. It’s called “The Infected” and it’ll be in the next issue of Short Short Story. The editor hopes to have the issue out in a couple weeks.