Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Do not let Wilson write..."

In response to the publication of my story in Waccamaw, my former professor, Colonel Padgett Powell, sent me an email that read, "For God's sake do not let Wilson write, in public, 'The murders made my wife and I irritable...'  Please.  I weep and tear my hair."
I attempted to make up for this lapse in grammar by telling the colonel that I had dedicated an upcoming story to him and then told him the title.  He wrote back five minutes later to inform me that the title was grammatically incorrect.  At this rate, Powell will not have any hair left.
Padgett came to our cabin a few years ago to fish and camp out and we went to Hammer's, a variety general store in Winchester that has Carhartt double knee work pants next to a pyramid of Duke's mayonnaise.  There was a random shopping cart in the middle of the store filled with Flecktarn camouflage German field caps.  If I have made a better purchase in my life, I would like to know what it is.  It was apparently designed to not fit any known human head shape.  If Padgett doesn't wear his cap for his next author photo, I'll be very, very surprised.


Amanda said...

One of my big-time mentors, who's known me since I was born, wanted me to change a sentence once. The story had already been published, though, and I thought I was right anyway. I still can't decide if it created a rift or brought us closer as colleagues...

Anson Mountain said...

I remember going back and forth with a friend who wanted me to change the names of the two characters in my story because they were both one-syllable, not-normal names. I finally relented and had one, one-syllable, not-normal name and one two-syllable, very normal name. This was stretched out over a year.

Molly Gaudry said...

I'm surprised the editors didn't catch that...? Anyway, I hear you might be sending something along soon. Exciting!

Can't wait,

Anson Mountain said...

That problem, Molly, is that I am barely functional when it comes to the "me" vs. "I" rules. I'm also not very good with, oh, any of the other grammar rules. Working with Waccamaw, I tried to figure out what was the voice of the character and what needed to be corrected. I should have just let them correct everything.
And as soon as I write a short story that's good, I will send it along.
And I'm looking forward to the Willows Wept Press releases.

ryan call said...

subjective vs. objective case


that is a funny post.

Chad Simpson said...

I've only met Colonel Powell once, but last night I dreamed he was explicating a story to me. He was angry, because I had misread the story, and he spent a good number of minutes berating me for my general idiocy.

I'm blaming your blog post for this dream.