Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Level-headed Builder

You may have noticed Eddy refers quite often to his hammer. (No, not that one … a real one for pounding nails.) Hmm … wonder where he gets that hammer thing from. I began my acquaintance with hammers when I was fifteen and started roofing for Norris Johnson in Sutherlin, Oregon. I worked for him several summers. What a character Norris is … a joke a minute, and he could outwork us teen-aged punks by miles. He taught me and countless other young men a fine work ethic, and that ethic has helped me through many a project, including the one in the photo, a little remodeling project on our home in Multnomah Village. Eddy, like me, is proud to be a builder, and if you look real closely at that level on my head, you’ll see it’s only half a bubble off.Image

Quote of the Day: “The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation.” Elias Canetti

And the Winner Is …

The “Tweet” contest has officially ended, and my challenge was for readers of Trout Kill to write a critique of the novel in 140 characters or less. First, let me give a big SHOUT OUT! to all those who summoned the creative spirit and took the time to enter. I heard from some of you that it was harder than you thought. As the sole judge and jury, I had a tough, tough decision to make about the winner. Here are the top three entries:

Like a high speed joy drive down a twisting coastal road on a rainy night, Trout Kill serves up plenty of twists and bends. A thrilling read!—Rich Boley

Mechanical heart veteran-past memories cloud present-sis Em dead deer panties in pocket comatose wife friends in denial murder explosive.—Shirley Gauthier

Strangers we all know, fucked up yet normal. A story of unique yet everyday life, simplified to the point of beauty near the Oregon Coast.—Aaron Zarosinski

And the drum roll, please ….

The winner is Aaron Zarosinski!

Congrats, Aaron! I thought your entry was succinct (well, it had to be:), eloquent and insightful. I loved the tensions between “fucked up” and “normal,” and between “unique” and “everyday life.”

Aaron has opted for a unique prize: A free copy of my next novel, Trout Run, which will be released in about a year!

Quote of the Day: “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” Tennessee Williams


The overwhelming sensation I felt while talking about my novel at Canby High the other day was passion, a sort of urgency to explicate and learn, to share and listen. It’s close to the same feelings I often experienced when I taught “Prufrock,” The Great Gatsby, “The Scarlet Ibis,” The Lord of the Flies, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment and so many other fines stories and poems. Long live the passion!Image