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WRITER'S BLOCK, Issue #003 --Why David writes, A Tribute to Doc, David in the classroom
September 01, 2015
|Welcome to the WRITER'S BLOCK newsletter!
We decided to do something different...something totally outside the box...something shocking!! You know, something like making the writer actually write! (Hey, we warned you it was going to be radical!) So...
WRITER’S BLOCK…Why I write
I have been asked by the powers that be, namely Ulva the Magnificent and the coveted Laura, to write a piece on why I write. The flippant answer is because I can’t tap dance. That, however, is not true. I can tap dance; and had you been with me when a copperhead crawled out of my shed, you would have witnessed that very event.
I suppose I should tell the truth here, but telling the truth is difficult for those of us who are fictioneers. We lie for a living. Plus, I am a man. The truth means being honest about things that men try to avoid. Those things are called “feelings.” Beginning when I was very young, I was taught by my most dominant care-giver to keep my feelings to myself. The only respite I had from that oppression was my grandfather. He told stories, and I loved him above all others.
I began my first book while in the third grade, I believe. It was about a wolf. A big, tough wolf who didn’t have to take crap from any of the other wolves or dogs or people or grandmothers. Undoubtedly, it would have been the definitive “Great American Novel” except for one unforeseen variable, a young lovely by the name of Dianne Drake. When she entered my life, the wolf went out the window. She was mysterious, exotic, and so completely derailed my train of thought that my novel was abandoned on page three. In spite of my entreaties and the occasional Tootsie Roll Pop, Dianne remained aloof and eventually threw me over for someone taller than she. That crushing blow was the beginning of two major revelations in my life. Writers must suffer for their art, and women are tougher than wolves.
The second major writing event in my life occurred when I was a freshman in high school. One Monday morning in English class, our teacher, Miss Badcrumble, (no, her name was not actually Badcrumble…I swiped that moniker from Eddie Izzard, one of the funniest men on the planet) asked all of us to turn in our poems.
What? Poem? The fact that I was supposed to write a poem over the weekend had flown out of my head like a bat from a belfry! Hurriedly, while the papers were being collected, I scratched out a poem and turned it in. I got an A, and about three months later that very poem was published in an anthology of young American poets. Here it is.
The surf crashes.
Foam-filled, on sullen shore
it swirls against the rocks until,
content, it slips quietly back to sea.
The surf crashes.
I have no idea what it meant or means, but there you have it. My first triumph written in less than two minutes so a woman wouldn’t get mad at me. That is the very same reason I’ve written this piece. Some things never change.
There will be more on “why I write” in other newsletters. Trust me. I’ve been told there will be.
Ironbear received this letter the other day and was deeply touched by it. We decided we wanted to share it with our readers. (Don’t tell David, but it gives a small glimpse of what makes him tick!)
There has been a man on my mind so often of late that I want to tell readers about him, and in the process, thank the staff at Ironbear-ebooks for their fine work!
Once upon a time there lived a man named Frank “Doc” White. He was born in 1895 and was a storyteller. I had the pleasure of knowing him for a time. And, I’m here to tell you that he gave us all a gift because he raised David R Lewis.
In my youth, however briefly, I knew Frank White. And for many years now, I have known David. I have thought about this a great deal, or as we say in the Midwest, “a bunch”, and I am ready to comment.
An American original, storyteller, author, and marvelous vocal actor, Lewis slips small doses of Frank White-isms in his many wonderful and precious novels and short stories. He can’t help it. Frank White was his grandfather.
In the integrity of David Allen Crockett of the Crockett series of novels or Ruben of the “Trail” series of westerns, we are actually witness to Frank White’s influence on David R. Lewis, the man.
For the readers and listeners of Lewis’ works, there is one simple, consistent thread within Lewis’ stories that is handed down with care. It is, perhaps, the best thing he learned from Doc, and it is what it takes to live with others in this world. Respect. Because of this gift, we trust David, and we believe him.
Respect. You can give it; and from this author, you will receive it. Spend some time in David R. Lewis’ Theatre Of The Mind and enjoy. Frank White would.
…Brice Eugene Creighton
We just have to share one more correspondence with you! David thought he was done with the classroom long ago, but we have just found out that he’s been revisiting elementary school without knowing it. And, here’s the totally awesome story that goes with it…
Dear Mr. Lewis,
I am recently retired from 30 years in the teaching profession, whereby I was charged with the task of teaching 9 and 10 year olds the joys of reading and writing (among other things.)
About a year ago I decided to use your audio short story "The Good Old Days" from your Heartland Memories collection (Just Folks CD) as a prompt for a writing assignment about honesty. The students were riveted as you eloquently told the story. They were fascinated by the voice acting that really brought the story to life. It added a new dimension that captured their interest, and proved to be a very motivating teaching tool. We had great discussions about life in the 1950's and 60's as well as life in a small town. My students were also eager to try out their own story- telling skills, using different voices. I was excited to share this resource with other teachers, and thought you'd enjoy hearing about it.
Holly Dugas, 4th Grade Teacher, Ret. Sierra Avenue Elementary Thermalito, Calif.
the TRAIL series:
All you TRAIL series fans...just an update about Ruben and his next adventure.
We mentioned that Ruben had started out on another TRAIL. Well, David has just finished chapter 18 of the 7th book! He still hasn't named it yet, but the plot is taking some really interesting turns. (David has been doing some additional research, so you know it's goinig to be historically accurate, too!) Again, don't expect the book to be out any time real soon. Just know that it's still a comin'!
The CROCKETT series:
eBook #1 of the CROCKETT series, FEAR OF THE FATHER, is still free everywhere; and it shouldn't be too much longer before it comes out in eAudio form. Keep watching the newsletter and Facebook so you know when that release takes place.
As we mentioned last time, David has written a total of 8 Crockett books in the series, and as of August 15th, there are 4 that have been published.
Just a heads up...plans are in the works for #5. It just may be that it will be ready for release in the next two months. That is what we are shooting for, anyway!!
David R Lewis and You What?
That's right...plans are still in the works for David R Lewis to have his own You Tube Channel before too long. We've just run into a few unavoidable delays. (Hey, all this technical stuff is pretty heavy for us "retired" folk!)
Right now, our producer is still editing the videos in preparation for release. Keep watch of our Facebook page for updates.
See ya again on October 1st! And, if you enjoyed this newsletter; please tell all your friends to visit our website and sign up for the fun.
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