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September 23, 2011

the Fern Valley Trail
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
Greenup County, Kentucky

When I was young, I thought sometime in my life I'd be able to identify all the weeds, mushrooms, bugs, and trees found in my area. I thought that was what getting an education meant. Boy was I wrong. On top of not getting classroom work on it, I've now found out that it isn't an easy thing to identify creatures and plants in the wild by eyesight only. We have lost the education of the Indian, most of us can no longer look at these mushrooms and say if it will kill us or make a tasty dinner. Some still can though and maybe we'll hear from them. Until then, there's an app for that and I'm still lookin'.

We were talking lately about writing style, specifically about unconsciously incorporating the style of others into your own writing. If I remember right, Garrison Keillor said he never read the works of others while he was himself writing, while Stephen King said that a writer must love to read in order to love to write. Two opposing viewpoints. The other day, I wrote a very long, winding, run-on sentence and finished it by saying to my self, Good gosh, I've written a sentence like Gertrude Stein. Which then brought up this windy paragraph that I remember by Hemingway. Papa was writing to a friend Bill Horne and I love the paragraph:

'We can't ever go back to old things or try and get
the 'old kick' out of something or find things the
way we remember them. We have them as we remember
them and they are fine and wonderful and we have to
go on and have other things because the old things
are nowhere except in our minds now.'

Ernest Hemingway, 1923 Paris
(written to Bill Horne)