James A. Michener: “I’m an excellent rewriter.”

“I think the crucial thing in the writing career is to find what you want to do and how you fit in. What somebody else does is of no concern whatever except as an interesting variation.” – James A. Michener
James A. Michener Writing Career Quote

James A. Michener may just be my hero when it comes to beginning a career. Why? His first book came out when he was 40.

“Sitting there in the darkness, illuminated only by the flickering lamplight, I visualized the aviation scenes in which I had participated, the landing beaches I’d seen, the remote outposts, the exquisite islands with bending palms, and especially the valiant people I’d known: the French planters, the Australian coast watchers, the Navy nurses, the Tonkinese laborers, the ordinary sailors and soldiers who were doing the work, and the primitive natives to whose jungle fastnesses I had traveled.”

This was Michener while on assignment in the Pacific during WWII. These notes led to his first novel Tales of the South Pacific. It won the Pulitzer, became a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical as South Pacific, and was turned into a movie of the same name. Very nice for a first novel.James A. Michener I'm a ReWriter Quote

Michener and I are alike in a number of ways. He went to college for English and History. I went for History and Education. And then there is this  quote; “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

I haven’t researched exactly what he meant by that, but if he’s like me he gets the idea down then grows the piece into a behemoth through his research, and that is where Michener and I are a lot alike.

I’ve seen video of Michener and that is what led me to choose him for this article. Michener, in regards to writing, is similar to how I approach my writing. He did a ton of research and was into details. You learned from a Michener read.

Some people don’t like going for the realism, or they don’t want to go through the trouble of finding out what street a person would travel in a city. They might say, they took a left or make up a name. Details give credibility. Details give James A. Michener Love of Writing Quotepeople a way to become connected to a work. Details create fans who want to travel the path a favorite character traveled.

I doubt I will ever write books that are 800 or 1000 pages long. I’m not counting it out, but I have the attention problems of creativity and concussion combined. I’m working on two stories at the same time right now, with three others marinating until I get back to them to do the next drafts. Hopefully one is not far away from submission time.

Married three times, his third wife, in a way, helped inspire one of Michener’s big successes, Sayonara in 1954. His wife, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa was an American but she and her Japanese parents suffered the internment camps in America in WWII. The two married in 1955 and remained together until her death in 1994.

In 1997, Michener chose to stop his daily dialysis in fighting his terminal kidney disease. His wife was gone, and he had accomplished all he wanted to do. He left the copyrights to his works to his alma mater.

This final quote says something a great number of people should consider.

 James A. Michener Culture Quote


Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Click HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro. See the comments here for any links to more #BeWoW articles and check out the hashtag on Twitter to ReTweet those positive posts that apply to the #BeWoW message of positivity sharing.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

BOOK REVIEWING & @DanMcNeil888 The Judas Apocalypse

You know, when I first got my hands on The Judas Apocalypse it was just after interviewing the author Dan McNeil.Dan McNeil Author That was about a year ago. But with writing my own books, having books lined up to review, authors to interview, and all of that kind of stuff, I just now got around to having a chance to read it. Three cheers for my internet being a pain, right?

Why now? I’ll be honest, I wanted a good story to read.

You see, when you do book reviews you run in to some:

  • Pretty bad writing
  • Okay writing
  • Good writing
  • Great writing
  • Oh-My-Word-I-wish-I-could-write-like-this-person writing

And every single one of those is based on my opinion. Albeit an educated opinion at this point. I’ll tell you, I’ve read a lot submissions lately and they haven’t made it to the book review section of LitWorldInterviews.com for various reasons.

  • I give each author the option of saying no to a review being published if the rating is less than a 3.
  • I’m not a person to tear down a writer. (I’m a writer. I have a novel coming out soon and I don’t want to be torn down either. I know how it feels to have the love of your life ripped apart by those unfeeling, heartless demons.)
  • I read a book for story and only begin to take away from a book rating if writing gets in the way of the story.

When I read a book I in fact look at the story first and foremost. If the story is working for me and the writing isn’t getting in the way, then things are fine. If the writing is to the point of pulling me out of the story, then we have a problem.

Yes, I do read the books I get sent. Sometimes you just don’t want to know the results. I am an amazingly honest reviewer. You can ask anyone I’ve reviewed. Ask the friends I’ve reviewed. Ask the authors that work on the LWI site that I’ve reviewed.

After the pain of some recent books I’ve read, agreed to and voluntary reads, I wanted a good story with good writing. I’m not saying the stories are not great story ideas, it’s just that some people need patience and some writing coaching to get that great story idea to the level it deserves. It’s even been suggested I do some writing coaching. Yeah, some people have insane ideas. But I’m actually better at helping others than I am at helping my own writing. Aren’t we all?

After a few of those painful reads I needed a go-to writer that I felt confident would deliver a good read, with at least good writing. I’m not telling you that The Judas Apocalypse is not great writing . . . yet. I’m telling you I was looking for a good story, from a good writer. And I knew Dan McNeil would deliver that from all that I knew about him.

I had two books of his to pick from and I picked this one. Oddly it turned out that I was very qualified in many ways to be the reviewer of The Judas Apocalypse.

  • I am a World History expert, or so I have been told as a teacher of it.
  • I have been deeply involved in religious studies and apologetics.
  • I also have written a draft of a YA book including information and historical characters Dan McNeil mentions on his book.
  • Meaning I have researched a lot of things Dan included in his book. And I mean a lot.

In other words, I could tell if he was phoning in his story or if he actually put work into it.

I’ll be putting out the review soon on LitWorldInterviews.com. You can find out if he let me down or not. Remember, I’m painfully honest.



 

Ronovan HesterRonovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

This America

You say you hate it,

This America,

Gives you that freedom.Bataab Death March

 This America

for: The US. Soldiers

 

 

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-July 03, 2014.

Independence Day . . . 166 years and 6 days later.

“Bill, one of the boys isn’t looking too good back there,” said the man dropping down in the co-pilots seat.

“Airsick?” Lt. William Thies asked.

His friend nodded. “Probably all this flying around blind we’ve been doing. Dead reckoning is fine but we really need to find some clear sign to point the way home soon or we’ll all end up sick. There’s something about this not seeing anything but sky and air that can get to you after a while.”

“I’ll bring her down some. Maybe that’ll help.”

American PBY Catalina

The men in the back of the plane felt the descent.

“Told you he would do something about it,” said one young man.

One sick looking man just moaned. “I didn’t want him to know I was airsick. Just think, an airman airsick. Tough man, huh?”

“Just get over by the window and focus your eyes on something instead of the movements.”

The sick man nodded. “Good idea.”

Pressing his face against the window he watched as the plane lowered down through the clouds. He had always liked that part. He felt like one of the new comic book hero types like that super guy, just not having to wear long underwear. He smiled at the thought, already beginning to feel a little better.

He spotted water below and a sense of reality settled over him. It wasn’t solid ground but at least it wasn’t invisible air. His eyes roamed over the water. His teeth hit the window hard as he slammed his faced against the glass.

“Land!”

“What?” His friend turned to him.

“Land–there,” he said to excited to actually give directions.

 

 

Independence Day.

byfor: The Soldiers of America

WWII in the Pacific, 166 years and 6 days after the Declaration of Independence. I know the United States is celebrating or about to celebrate July 4th, Independence Day, and that isn’t something associated with WWII, but in truth any fight American soldiers are involved in that keep the country independent is part of the celebration to me. And that is why I wanted to write about a story that had escaped me for so long, or perhaps the old mind had forgotten it.

Enola Gay Photo

I have mixed feelings about what happened between Japan and the Allies. A lot of innocents died at the end. One has a guilty feeling about being against the bombings of Japan, but it wasn’t the citizens who bombed Pearl Harbor. I know people say that by dropping the atomic bombs that many more lives may have been saved than were lost. But it still doesn’t make me at ease.

 

This in no way means I think badly of any soldier involved. Orders were given, they were living in the time of war, and they knew more than I did. There are things you cannot understand unless you are there. I’ll never be the one to be a Monday morning quarterback, or more appropriately a Next Century General, when it comes to actions. I have my freedoms and liberties today because of things these men and others like them, including my father, did in the service of their country.

 

Sure I can have opinions but for some things I just don’t know. I think if we are all honest with ourselves we twist inside about things.

 

In all honesty things may have turned out very differently if not for that airsick crewman of the American PBY Catalina on July 10, 1942 over the Aleutians near Alaska. The conversation may have been my own creation but the situation was not. I don’t know that there has been an exact dialogue written down.

 

The crewman really did look out the window as the plane, off course, flew lower because he was sick. He saw land, which meant they could find their way back to their base. But they found something else instead.

Dutch Harbor Unalaska June 1942

About one month earlier Tadayoshi Koga had to make an emergency landing after his Zero had been damaged in an attack run on Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, Alaska. His Zero flipped upon attempting a landing on Tadayoshi Koga PhotoAkutan, he died upon impact. He was 19 years old.

 

Why do I write about this?

 

Koga’s plane was the first intact Zero the Allies had been able to get their hands on. After recovering the plane and making it work properly again it was tested and the Akutan Zero Tadayoshi Kogaweaknesses of the plane were discovered. The plane that had been destroying the Allies in the Pacific was no longer the deadly threat it had once been.

 

If not for an airsick crewman the war may have ended differently.

 

Was it luck in finding the Zero? If so, then whose luck was it, the good of the Allies or the bad of the Japanese?

 

Also I still cannot help but think of the results of the two bombs. “But look what they did at Pearl Harbor.” Those civilians didn’t do it. And like I said, I have nothing but respect for the men who carried out the mission. Did they know completely the devastation that would happen? What went through their minds before during and all the years after?

 

People like to think soldiers don’t think about the results, the impacts. My father doesn’t talk about his war experience. He doesn’t want to relive it. I don’t know any of those in the service that do. They talk about their time with their fellow soldiers and the good times they were able to snatch.

 

Unfortunately for me I have this mind that feels both sides of something. I cannot help but feel the hurt and anger and devastation on both sides of the war. I understand those who say Pearl Harbor meant it was okay to do what  happened. Then I see those surviving citizens in Japan who say my child didn’t do anything.  Then the Pearl Harbor parent will come back with, “Neither did my child.”

 

Independence comes at such a high price. We are all the same people. We all want the same things. I just wish we all could understand that.

 

You won’t find images of either Pearl Harbor or the bombings in Japan here. I looked at them and neither of them are something I want to share. I don’t want to remember them. I am hoping that after sleep my amnesia will take it away . . . but I don’t think it will.

Much Respect

An Appreciative American and Son of a Veteran

Ronovan

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-July 02, 2014.