Monday, November 29, 2010

Remembering Elmer Kelton--once again

I didn't post a blog last night because I was consumed with reading a pdf proof of Elmer Kelton: Essays and Memories. It's not a festschrift in the proper sense of that term, because it includes several personal memories, but it is a book in tribute to the late, beloved author. I read it once in Austin, surrounded by all the hubbub of family. When I came home and read in peace and quiet I was amazed at how much more I caught--little things like misplaced commas and quotes mostly, but a few misused words. And, horrors, a dangling modifier--a grammatical error that can send me screaming into the night.
The book is due from TCU Press in the spring. Jim Lee and I co-edited--we've teamed up on some good projects. The essays and memories in this one are by people who knew Elmer well--all friends because everyone he met became his friend, but some of these folks have taught his work in the classroom. And probably my favorite essay is the one by his son, Steve, who succeeded his dad as editor of Livestock Weekly. Steve subtly blends in a son's memories with a more business-like assessment of way Elmer's work as an agricultural journalist contributed to the realism of his fiction. A truly great essay from a guy whose arm I had to twist to get him to write it.
Now I've sent the corrections off and am feeling--well, lazy, idle, whatever. Yesterday I bustled around and got lots done, like pulling up dead plants from the porch and a wash, but today I've been sort of lackadaisical and had such a sound nap that I woke up totally disoriented. Ate too big a dinner of leftover potato salad and egg salad and feel full and sleepy. But my Thanksgiving accomplishment is that with all that rich food, I lost a pound. Feeling super about that. Anyway, I guess I'll stumble my way through the rest of the evening, maybe reading a book. Tomorrow I must start reading the version of Mattie I plan to put on Kindle. And then I have to review and do a bit of rewriting on Skeleton in a Dead Space to put it on KIndle.
Meantime I'm reading Double Shot, a foodie cozy mystery by Diane Mott Davidson who is the star of that genre, in spite of all the other contestants. If anybody has read any of her novels about Goldy, the Colorado caterer, and also watched the Barefoot Contessa on TV, tell me if you don't think they're a perfect match! Ina Garten should play Goldy in a movie. Oh, bother, the fact that Garten is a chef and not an actress is a trivial thing!
Enough. I may eat chocolate.

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