Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A to Z Challenge: Z is for Zone (and Zane Grey and "Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig)
First of all, let me say there were a lot of authors, especially Colorado authors, I didn't get to include in this year's challenge. Mountain climber and motivational speaker Jim Davidson's The Ledge deserves special mention. Mystery author Cricket McRae, who also writes as Bailey Cates and K.C. McRae, is a favorite. And there are many more from Northern Colorado Writers and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers that I hope will be guests on this blog over the next year.
Secondly, let me say that the only writer whose last name begins with Z that I could think of was the French author Emile Zola. I may have read something by him back in the days I was studying French, but nothing came to mind. That's why I did a little two-step and used this author whose first name begins with Z:
Featured Author: Zane Grey
Grey wrote a lot of novels, and lots of them were what I called cowboy stories. I think I read all of them as soon as I was old enough to read the books in my mom's bookcases. Most of the movies made from his books and stories were produced before I was born, but I've watched some on television.
One little fact often repeated about Grey that I love: "Unlike writers who could write every day, Grey would have dry spells and then sudden bursts of energy, in which he could write as much as 100,000 words in a month." (Quoted from Wikipedia)
I do love those cowboys. I think the most famous of Grey's novels is Riders of the Purple Sage. If you've never read one of Grey's cowboy stories, start with that one.
Featured Book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
This book was published in 1974, but I didn't read it until about 2005 because all that time I really thought it was about motorcycles. There are elements about the book I had in the back of my mind when I wrote the bike breakdown scene in The Desert Hedge Murders, and again when I wrote the beginning of a manuscript that sits on my desk, waiting for revision and self-editing (and a title).
"...an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of love and fear -- of growth, discovery, and acceptance -- that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions, this uniquely exhilarating modern classic is both touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence . . . and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward."
There are 941 customer reviews on amazon.com. That should tell you something.
Word of the Day: Zone
I'm in the blog and fiction writing zones now, mostly because of this year's A to Z Challenge. Thanks to everyone who visited during the month, and especially those who left comments. I made a few new friends, some from the other side of the world, and I am grateful.
Are you in the writing/blogging zone? Did the challenge help or did it weigh you down?
Be sure to check back tomorrow for my guest blogger, mystery author Jen J. Danna.