Sunday, December 28, 2008

David McCullough Rocks.

My goodness, it feels like a long time since I've been here. I've had plenty of ideas of things to write about and I've stuck them all in my "ideas" folder. None of those ideas are begging to be posted just yet.

I guess I'm floating on a happy cloud of irresponsibility, feeling the need to do nothing at all. Except take care of the baby. And cook. And clean. And grocery shop. But not blog.

Still, that little tickle is at the base of my neck. That's where it is when I feel like I need to blog. Fiction writing tickles more at the base of my spine which is why there's a groove scarily approximate to the dimensions of my butt on our sofa. It's my writing spot.

So...the tickle.

Of all the things I made a mental note to blog about, like how my toddler's sheer delight in burping is an argument for nature over nurture and about my game show philosophy (those two things aren't related), I am drawn to....

A seven hour mini-series. My husband and I just finished watching the final installment of HBO's John Adams, which was just tremendous. But then we watched the forty minute documentary about the author of Adams' biography, David McCullough, that followed. It made me happy. He's 80-ish, dapper, with a twinkle in his eye. And as he talked about what and why he writes, it was delightful to see how much genuine excitement he felt about his subjects from the Brooklyn Bridge to Harry Truman. The author himself has won presitigious awards and worldwide acclaim, but what he really gets excited about are the stories he tells. His subjects in history become real to him. He talks about how he comes to know each of his subjects as well as family, to know what each will do in any given situation. His subjects are real, but he must use the greatest tools in the fiction toolbox to really make them come alive for his readers: imagination, vivid language, an understanding of human nature, and a fine balance between details and the bigger picture.

I got so sad as I watched. Because I really want to hang out with David McCullough now and I'm sad I never will. I want to hang out with David mcCullough more than I want ice cream, new shoes, or a minivan.

That dude is cool.

13 comments:

Jami said...

I thought you were about to go on about some actor I knew nothing about. But a writer! Cool.

Perhaps if you send him a copy of your post, he'll let you hang out with him. Is he dead? That wouldn't work out. If he's not dead, then you could get an interview with him. It could work. It's possible.

CaJoh said...

So glad that you can find inspiration and admiration from a fellow author. I find that there are a lot of biographies that I wish I could meet the person but find that I can't— mostly due to the fact that they are no longer around— but just knowing about them touches my soul.

Annette Lyon said...

Sounds like my kind of cool dude. I want to meet him now!

The tickles gave me giggles.

Kristina P. said...

Sounds like an interesting man!

I might have to check out that John Adams miniseries.

myimaginaryblog said...

I'm trying to remember if we have a copy of John Adams (the book) around here. It's been on my to-read list for a while and I've almost finished the current (non-McCullough) tome I've been gradually working my way through.

McCullough once made a list of his favorite/must-read books and my mom had not only read most of them but also had many of the same favorites. And yes, that's totally a brag (on her behalf.)

Linda said...

A minvan????

Heather of the EO said...

You're cool too. Glad you're back!

Sue said...

I feel so illiterate, because I've never read any of his stuff.

I have no writing tickle these days. It's dead. I finally killed it off.

Alison Wonderland said...

Isn't that excited/happy/sad feeling weird? I get it all the time. About fictional characters especially, I so want to meet Amelia Peabody Emerson, I can't even tell you. Too bad I never will.

Felicity said...

Heh! I also want to hang out with David McCullough! That's how I found your blog, I have a feed updating me on him.

I'm not sure what would happen if you sent him a copy of your post. I wrote him about seven months ago, and still haven't gotten a reply. I also met him (SQUEE!) at a talk and he said that he has a bunch of letters but he would try to get to mine (being young and liking history counts for something)

Good luck on writing. I've felt that way a bunch.

Nancy said...

I head him at BYU - about the Pilgrims. It was so interesting. I just ordered the John Adams on Netflix too. My arm is sore from Wii tennis and bowling : )

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.

I'm reading the David McCullough John Adams right now this minute and he's the best writer ever. It's way better than the mini series, which I'm almost through with.

I totally love John Adams TOOOO. And I know what you mean about wanting to hang out with people you never can. I feel that way about Jackie Robinson.

Eowyn said...

I've never seen the mini-series, but I loved, loved, loved that book. I want to hang with him too!