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Introducing myself.

January 24, 2016
Tom's little brother

Dan Struckman, September, 1979

This picture was taken in the late summer, when my family and I returned to Missoula to take care of my brother’s possessions.  The houseful he left after he dropped suddenly dead after a brief period of heart failure following a myocardial infarction.  My oldest son scraped Tom’s body off his kitchen floor, maggots, stench, juices.  Nobody has been the same since then.

Lately, I’ve asked scores of people to be my Facebook friends.  To those who have accepted, I say simply, thank you.  I am almost 67.  I’ve been aspiring to be a writer since the 4th grade.  I am still aspiring.  Still learning.  I pay Russell Rowland to attend his writer’s workshop in Billings, Montana.

Writers?  Hah.  Should be called a “reader’s workshop.”  We take turns reading each others’ work.  That works out to reading ten pieces of theirs for every one piece they read of mine.  Still, we can learn a great deal from each other.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

*Bullets are one great way to write something.  I learned this from Jerry Holloron in Missoula in 1977 in journalism school.

*Don’t use passive verbs.  They sort of march in place, instead of drive things along.  Be bold.

*One should develop ideas fully.  Our group keeps asking me for ‘more, more!.’  Especially, one should try to paint word pictures of the places in the narrative.  To throw word pictures onto the imagination of the reader.

*Sentence fragments?  You know the answer.  They can be okay.

*Take chances.  Push boundaries.  Talk about stuff polite people wouldn’t.

*Write naturally.  Your readers don’t give a shit about rules.  On the other hand, consider the concept of ‘grace.’

*Scholarship and care.  Use ’em.  Facts are awesome.

Thanks, idle readers.  I hope you will also write things I will want to read.




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