This week’s Rerun showcases one of our most prolific authors. Anyone who has followed the site cannot fail to have been impressed by the stories of Tom Sheehan. Leila had a root around in his storage area and came out with this one. This is what she said:
Productive writers are reverse hoarders. Over the long haul a productive writer will accumulate a sizable stack of stories. This stack could crush the productive writer on the way to the kitchen unless the productive writer has enough talent to divest him- or herself of the stories, at which point the problem of storage falls (possibly in the literal sense) on the publisher.
Mr. Sheehan is directly responsible for an immense stack of material viewable from any point in the LS vault. I’ve compared it to a mountain in the past, which still holds true because I’m fairly certain that I saw a goat grazing somewhere around the 2016 elevation. And it is from that elevation I select Skink, The Town Drunk. The piece is told in the inimitable Sheehan style, and it is a moving little thing that shouldn’t be overlooked.
One question for the author:
LA: With more than sixty years’ experience, are there times when the technique you’ve acquired over a lifetime is able to get you through the difficulties all writers encounter during composition?
Tom Sheehan, a hero of the site to be sure has responded to the question:
Thanks for the re-run, and the question. The answer to the question of technique rescue when a difficulty is encountered is a resounding “yes.” It gives me a feeling of comfort to realize there are diverse methods available at hand, in memory, a kind of “I’ve been here before,”
The problem must be obvious. Like suddenly leaping off the page and my mind looks for a turn to the better avenue. It happens many times, and sometimes you might not be aware of what brought about a sudden change, a swerve, in the matter, but it is a grasp on a valid method of correction. The correction should satisfy the problem in quick light, or you have another stab at it.
All of us know it, I believe, for few pieces sail on and on without such interruptions. It is the rare master that goes from A to Z without tripping.