Michael Gates Gill's Blog

February 2, 2010

Hearing of the death of the writer Robert Parker I was so grateful that he had lived. His short, witty and enjoyable mysteries have been a yearly delight. His character is a private eye from Boston who manages to avenge wrongs without taking himself too seriously. The food in the stories is always excellent, and the dialogue is full of canny truths.

I also was reminded by the death of J.D. Salinger how much he gave to the teenage world. I remember when we were all struggling to find a voice in which to write--at fifteen or so--and suddenly coming upon The Catcher in the Rye and realizing that you could talk in any voice as long as it was true for you.

The deaths of these wonderful writers has given me a feeling of gratitude that somehow they were able to tell their stories, and leave the world sounding with their words.
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Published on February 02, 2010 06:08 • 345 views

November 21, 2009

I have always loved to read mysteries and histories.

Mysteries almost always have a happy ending in the sense that the problem is solved.

Unlike life they can have exciting and confusing moments, but the hero usually comes out okay in the end, and everything becomes clearer as you approach the final pages.

Histories can also give you the feeling that, with hindsight, it was obvious why the British lost India, or the Roman Empire collapsed. But my favorite histories are true stories of those rare individuals who actually changed the world, and our lives today.

Such as Gifford Pinchot who with Teddy Roosevelt found a way to convince a reluctant congress to pass laws making sure that natural wilderness would be preserved for us all. Amazing how just two individuals could have such affect on our lives today.

I guess I love mysteries and histories because both genres give me at least the illusion I might find some way to live better today.

To me, that feeling of gaining some knowledge that might make my life better, and that I might share with others, is a driving force in my life.
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Published on November 21, 2009 04:34 • 231 views