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A minor


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bill Caverlee
Today Bill Caverlee came into Kinko's to copy a story of his in the current Saint Ann's Review, and I had the pleasure of catching up with him. Mr Caverlee is a local writer who makes a living as a carpenter, cabinetmaker, etc; when I was a boy, Mr Caverlee would occasionally work on projects around our house. We first got to know him through a mutual friend, Bill Smith. Mr Smith and Mr Caverlee were both English majors at LSU and later worked together as building contractors.

I could tell there was something different about Mr Caverlee, aside from the fact that he was a middle-aged bachelor. Even though he didn't go to church, he was different. He was skilled but humble, and he had a soul. I really wished he went to church, but I still admired his soul and was curious as to its source of inspiration. Eventually I learned that he was a writer.

During my early high school years, Mr Smith was my informal writing tutor, and one day I asked him if he had any of Mr Caverlee's stories. He did, but he was cautious. Some of them were grown-up stories, he warned - stories with women who had "weathered breasts" and such. But after talking to my parents, he let me borrow them anyway, and thus I was introduced to the world of contemporary American short stories, particularly of the Southern variety.

This morning, after showing me his Saint Ann's Review story, Mr Caverlee told me about a piece of his in today's Christian Science Monitor and another in the current Oxford American. When I got home tonight, after suppper I found the delightful CSM piece about enjoying the richness of downtown Monroe as a boy in the late '50s, as well as an abstract for the OA piece about chess champion Paul Morphy. I also found a couple previous OA pieces of his - one on Flannery O'Connor and one on the Hollywood ending of Bonnie & Clyde - and his OA author bio.

I remember reading or hearing something (probably this NPR Fresh Air interview) about recent poet laureate and Pulitzer winner, Ted Kooser. I don't think I've ever read any of his poetry, but I was impressed by the fact that he worked for 25 years (as a life insurance executive), writing early in the morning before work. Bill Caverlee is a similarly inspiring example to me.

Incidentally, while I was on the OA site, I found another piece that some of you might enjoy: "HOW TO WRITE STORIES...and lose weight, clean up the environment, and make a million dollars" by George Singleton.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, February 10, 2008

John Michael Talbot
Thanks to Catholic Campus Ministries and Mike Dlugosh, tonight I was able to attend a John Michael Talbot concert at ULM's Brown Auditorium, across the street from our house. The theater was packed, and John Michael's sung prayers and classical guitar were heavenly and restorative. If ever you have an opportunity to attend one of his concerts, don't pass it up.

I've been interested in attending one of his retreats at Little Portion in Eureka Springs, and this only whetted my appetite even more. (For more background, see my old post, "Married Monastics.")

[Image source]

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, February 9, 2008

There Will Be Blood
Finally saw it this afternoon and came home and read Josh Gibbs's insightful review. Just posted some counterpoint in the comments there.

jon :: link :: comment ::

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