First published May 25, 2009, but without the Greg McDonald stuff...
I have quit trying to write the perfect poem. That's how come I can write so many of them. Sometimes I think I will be able to quit trying to write the perfect dialog. Then I could write the novel that's in me. Not yet. I am still screwed up over dialog and cannot write novels. I also can't write song lyrics. Bummer.
The dialog master is Gregory McDonald, and the books that show this are his Fletch series novels. He managed to tell most of the story in his dialog in those several novels. I wanna be him, Mom.
Wiki says: "Gregory Mcdonald (February 15, 1937 – September 7, 2008) was an American mystery writer best known for his character Irwin Maurice Fletcher, an investigative reporter otherwise known as "Fletch." The Fletch series, consisting of nine novels, also spawned the 'Flynn' series, as well as the 'Son of Fletch' series.
"Two of the Fletch books have earned Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America: Fletch was named Best First Novel in 1975, and Confess, Fletch won for Best Paperback Original in 1977. This is the only time a novel and its sequel won back-to-back Edgars."
I happen to know without looking that Greg was president of the Mystery Writers of America at one point. Wiki omits this factoid.
Of course, Fletch was made into a movie starring Chevy Chase in 1985, an excellent choice considering the style of dialog and the humor in McDonald's plotting.
Finding The Balance
I am here again, Trying to figure it all, Trying to square things.
I know I'm not all alone, That others wish to balance The ball precisely.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.