11/23/09

Hello, Lover...





Some of you (perhaps if you've have been in a coma these past few months) might not know that I am in SERIOUS awe of Stephen King. I own ALL of his books (hardbacks, no less) and have read most of them. (I’m sorry, Steve, but Lisey’s Story is STILL on my table with the bookmark that Tommy Tucker made me rooted safely in the middle. That one is tough going.)

I adore his “On Writing” and have recommended it at least one thousand times on this blog, and probably more than that on all the others I’ve been visiting night and day since this blogging madness began 17 months ago. I feel a special kinship with Steve- it’s almost as if we’re related. I adore his writing style- he makes me feel as if I am listening to him talk while I read his words. I can honestly hear that New England accent come through as I gobble up his words like a starving woman.

To be quite frank, I’ve often thought our styles were somewhat similar. Well, except for the fact that, oh, he’s a GAZILLIONAIRE, and his characters throw hatchets and spew blood and rise from the dead. Yeah, other than those minor details, we’re practically twins.

His advice to writers, however, is golden. If you’ll allow me, here are a few of his important points:

1. Most books about writing are bullshit.

2. Omit needless words. (Okay, he stole that from Elements of Style, but I forgive him.)

3. You must not come lightly to the blank page.

4. When writing, use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful.

5. The adverb is not your friend.

6. Read and write a lot. Let me say that again. Read and Write a lot.


I know I’ve been rambling, but here’s the point of this. My sister, the queen of finding gold at the Goodwill, brought me a little present recently, a gift in honor of my hero.


And if you take the time to look inside, you might see THIS!!!

Yeah. I almost PASSED OUT when she gave it to me. Ain’t sisters grand?


(I'm over here today, as well. He threatened me and pressured me and was relentless. Well. Not really.)



70 comments:

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

Being fairly new to your blog, I wasn't aware of the crush on Stephen King and it's been years since I've read any of his books. You make me want to head back his way. Especially so to check out this writing book. It may be just the thing I need - kind of like having a friend tell you to your face something you're doing wrong and that's a good thing... isn't it?

Lori
http://whatsafter29.blogspot.com

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Your sister is AWESOME.

Midwest Mommy said...

I am going to take a bet that the person who donated that to Goodwill had never opened that book. Awesome!

Being Brazen said...

I also ADORE "on writing" - it really helped me when i needed some advice on writing. I love it.

That gift is awesome. I have a signed copy of my favourite authors book and my favourite poet - I treasure them like diamonds :)

Enjoy!

mo.stoneskin said...

As I've mentioned before, I've seen through this and truly believe that you ARE Stephen King. For that reason this post disgusted me. The trickery.

Rick Daley said...

I have a copy of "On Writing" on the bookshelf next to me right now. I have "The Elements of Style" too, based on his recommendation.

Carol said...

What an awesome find!
I love shopping at second hand shops and antique malls.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I too am a huge SK fan...although I haven't read anything new from him in YEARS...Didn't like Kingdom...

thanks for the reccomenation..I might have to pick this up from the library next.

Michele said...

I've never been a huge Stephen King fan myself. I think it has to do with my not being into gruesome. Anyway, I do know how you feel about writers. When I meet one of my favorites I about swooned.

Loukia said...

That's a gift to cherish forever, lucky you!!
I adore Stephen King, too... I have read almost all of his books... my favourite series was The Gunslinger series that I read many years ago... and now, The Twilight Saga has become my favourite - I know, I know, you're probably cursing me as the writing in the Twilight books is like, horrific, in comparison to King... but alas, I'm fallen in love with a vampire! ;)
Anyway - Stephen King's On Writing is amazing and everyone who enjoys writing should have that book in their home library for sure!

phd in yogurtry said...

I like the idea of using the first words that come to my mouth -- except that I end up sounding like a drunken sailor.

I have adopted the habit of using the first word and then deciding I will go back and edit later. Get the idea down, that's the main thing, rather than getting stuck.

Em said...

Are you KIDDING ME!?!!?!!

Your sister deserves something way cool for the Holidays...and her birthday...and Ground Hogs Day, etc.

"On Writing" is the best - the only book that made me think that yes, I'm an average Jane, but I can do this.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Ooooooooooooooooooooh. Have you kissed that writing yet? xxx

Geezees Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

You sister ROCKS!

just making my way said...

Very cool. I took a picture of his house one time when I was in Maine years ago. His front gates are wrought iron spiders. Awesome.

Gaston Studio said...

What a great sister to find an autographed copy of The Dead Zone for you, and at Goodwill, no less!

Love his first piece of advice!

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I never read "On writing," but I will do so after your endorsement!

Keyona said...

Goodwill rocks and so does your sister! :o)

Captain Dumbass said...

I'm almost done On Writing. What a great book. Hey, I've got all his books in hardcover too! None with his autograph in it though.

Sue said...

Now that sister is definatly a "keeper"! What an awesome find! Take care.

Brian Miller said...

what a cool treasure. i love "on writing"...he conveys so much that i endear.

great sister as well!

Secretia said...

His mind is unique, and he's a genius of the imagination.
Happy Thanksgiving, VodkaMom!

Send me some followers, ha ha.

Secretia

Sandee said...

Cool on the signed copy.

I can't read his work. Way too spooky for me. Let's not even talk about his movies. Yikes.

Have a terrific day. :)

Tamara said...

I'm a HUGE Stephen King fan too and have been since i was 16 years old. I have all his books also. lol

I can't believe your sister found that! OMG I would have fell right over...yay for sisters!! My sister Wendi always seems to find the perfect thing too. :)

3 Men and a Lady said...

Wow! What a find! That's so cool. Maybe one day you'll have one that says "Dear Vodkamom..."

Suzy said...

I love that book too. Maybe it will teach people to say "she said" at the end of a quote instead of "she grimaced as a frown overtook her forehead."

That, my friends, is what is considered bad writing. Plus this comment.

adrienne said...

Great find! Looks like Mark wasn't as big a fan.

Jan said...

Oh, no fair! NO FAIR!

I'm soooo jealous. Picking up Under the Dome on my way home today. I wasn't real crazy about Lisey's Story either; it seemed too much of a rehash of both Rose Madder and The Talisman. Duma Key was MUCH better.

Yo is Me said...

oh. that took the breath outta me. holy crap. his autograph. STEPHEN KING WAS THERE!!! HIS HANDS WERE ON THOSE PAGES!!

have you read "the dome" yet? i'm 73rd in line at the library for it.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your sister is the Goodwill Queen for scoring that signed Stephen King book for you! ANd she didn't even wait til Christmas or your birthday to give it to you!

Happy Thanksgiving!
xo

LOUD & PROUD ♥ said...

I love Stephen King and read whatever he writes.The Stand is a favorite of mine.
What a great find your sister gave you!

thecheekofgod said...

I've never forgotten #5. Great advice . . .

But his new one? Isn't it just more of the same . . .

Meeko Fabulous said...

A signed copy? I gotta admit . . . That, my dear, is bad ass! :)

Trooper Thorn said...

#7 When in doubt, stab somebody one more time.

PurestGreen said...

I haven't read any Stephen King for awhile but may take a look at his On Writing book.

Your sister is indeed glorious. Bake her a cake. Two inches of icing. Excellent.

Madge said...

sisters are grand. have you read his new book.

confession: i have a hard time reading him, i want to, but i always struggle -- if you could only recommend one of his books which would it be?

MommyTime said...

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure that it's not like the autographed copy I received of a book in college? "Dear A..." it began, and ended with "Devotedly yours, Billy." But I'm pretty sure that even when he was autographing his Complete Works, Shakespeare never referred to himself as Billy. So I'm not falling for that one! :)

staceyjwarner said...

My Sister is a Stephen King nut, me not so much! I did read ON WRITING and loved it though...

much love

Mama Dawg said...

I am so friggin' livid that my mom is taking FOREVER to finish his latest. I mean, I know it's over 100 pages, but GEEZ LOUISE MA! Even my cat can read faster than that......(granted, she's only been reading it for a couple of days, but man, oh, man).

LOL!

Laura said...

Dear VM,
This has nothing to do w/ Stephen King, but I felt like I found an old friend today as I read your posts for the last month or so. Forgive me, but I forgot you....my laptop died (which I kept track of the 6 or 7 blogs I read daily) & I've been trying to "find" everyone again on the main household computer (read: my husband's computer). I kept feeling like I was forgetting someone.

(Just so you know, I am the mother of five: ages 8, 6, 4, 2, & 3 mos...I have very little short term memory left.)

Today, when hubby called to ask what kind of Vodka I wanted him to buy at the Class VI (technical term for Military Liquor Store), I had a lightbulb moment!! VodkaMom!! I've missed you & the smiles you bring me!

Anyway, from one vodka-swilling-mom to another (okay, so I'm not really swilling b/c I'm nursing, but I am sipping occasionally), I welcomed you back today, even though I didn't remember that you were missing.

Confused?

Story of my life!

Love, Laura

P.S. Prayers going up for Sassy & the whole situation!

for a different kind of girl said...

Gah!! How cool!! How amazing!! What a find!!

Yeah, I'm a gushy King fan, too (although I hear the new one isn't all that great...)! If I were the mysterious Mark of the autograph, I'd be heartbroken, but hey, finders keepers, losers weepers, as they say!

Also, truly 'On Writing' is like a writer's bible. Love it!

This Eclectic Life said...

OK, I was once a Stephen King fan, and still enjoy many of his books. But, I would give my eye teeth for that book. Ya want 'em? Trade?
No, eh.
I followed your link to read your post about your parents & Thanksgiving. Lovely. Stephen King would be proud that he taught you how to write.:-)

Carolyn...Online said...

It's like he was talking directly to YOU. Must go erase all my adverbs.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's because of Stephen King that I battle the adverb on a daily basis.

Irish Gumbo said...

F%&kin' adverbs, they SUCK!

And I promise, I'll write more!

LucyCooper said...

Good God, who gives away a book signed by Stephen King? I have my signed books on a whole separate shelf.

Masala Chica said...

while I find stephen king to be brilliant, his genius ability to write the scariest and most disturbing stories ever, has left me a little tentative. However, I recognize that receiving that book was one awesome, awesome find.

Nice sister you have!
Kiran

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Whoa! Better check that baby for what edition. Just read a book about the value of books, beyond reading that is.

Enjoyed On Writing also.

Juli Ryan said...

On Writing is a great book. My high school English teacher knew Stephen King. She went to high school with him, and she always talked about what a nerd he was back then. Seems like ol' Stephen got the last laugh.

♥ Braja said...

Stephen who?

OK OK just kiddin', sheesh....

Beth said...

How awesome! Keep writing! You'll get published one day.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My sister bought me a first edition of a Joan Didion book off ebay along with a first edition of Jakc Keroauc for my birthday one year. Sisters are the BEST!

I've read all King's early works, but got stuck on a couple later on. The Tommyknockers and Thinner were not my favs.

madtexter (corey james) said...

Years ago when I was an assistant manager at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, I came face to face with Mr. King. He came to the reception desk, and I rounded the corner and there he was, smack dab in front of me. And those eyes, good grief - I dang near peed my pants!

I was in Barnes & Noble this past week and noticed his latest book. Heavenstomergatroy! I swear that sucker is about 6" thick. What is he trying to do, write a book that longer than the Bible? I'll hand it to him though, he certainly knows how to craft a story!

I think my favorite story of his is The Long Walk that he wrote as 'Richard Bachman'. So macabre, but voyeuristically juicy.

However, I do have a bone to pick with Mr. King. Thanks to 'It' I now hate clowns.

He IS the master.

Always Home and Uncool said...

I gave up on Lisey's Story about half way through. That's one of his rules, too, right?

plainolebob said...

Looks like I'm catchin the tail end of a good read.
VM,
HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Fragrant Liar said...

This is an excellent book on writing. I keep it on my nightstand, right next to my desk, right next to where I should be right now, rehashing chapter 3 of my romantic comedy. Ah well, it's Tuesday, and I take Tuesdays off. As of right now.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

What a sis! What a surprise.

And "The adverb is not your friend." -- good tip from the King.

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, DUDE! Cool beans!!!

anymommy said...

Sisters are amazing.

yellaalley95 said...

Hey! I gave you an award! Swing on over to my blog to accept it :)

Rebecca Nazar said...

OMG! My little green monster will attempt to snatch that away from you. Beware . . . dum, dum, dum.

I'm a Mainer and have stood in front of the man's home in Bangor.

Vodka Logic said...

Very cool. I adore my Robbie Williams autograph. :)

Scary Mommy said...

Wow!! It seems Mike didn't have such an interest after all. His loss, your gain!

Aunt Becky said...

That book just made me pee a little. AWESOME.

Joanie said...

His best book will always be The Stand. There are other good ones, but that one remains his bestest.

Lili said...

I love Insomnia, the original Dead Zone, and the Talisman-and of course-Misery :) I have everything he's ever written-yep I'm an addict :)

Mimi Ruse said...

On Writing has been recorded by the lovely Mr. King, and can be found in a convenient CD-set for your listening-while-you-carpool pleasure (if you can get the kids to take out the Miley Cyrus CD). After all, why read Steve's writing about writing when you can listen to him read his writing about writing? Or something like that. Anywho ... check it out. Word.

Mimi Ruse said...

Oh, and "Thinner" scared the CRAP outta me.

Cora said...

OH. MY. GOD.

How did I miss this post????

I'm so excited, I think I might pass out too!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!