Writing Wins and Woes: Recluse series; Cormac McCarthy

I really haven’t decided whether my recluse bloggee of the month is a true recluse. I’d say he’s more of a sometimes recluse, sometimes eccentric person. Yet, he is such an interesting individual, I thought I’d go ahead, add him to the list and talk about him anyway.

Cormac McCarthy was born on July 20, 1933. He is listed as an American novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He wrote ten novels and is currently writing his eleventh, The Passenger, which is about science and madness. He has been writing this novel for quite a while but reportedly it may be forthcoming this year.

Although McCarthy has been writing for about 50 years it wasn’t until his novel, All the Pretty Horses, was published in 1992 that he achieved wide spread fame. Following that he outdid himself, which believe me as a writer is hard to do, by writing a Pulitzer prize winning book, titled The Road.

This is strange because I am writing about him, but I’ve never read a McCarthy book. I have, however, seen the movie, All the Pretty Horses, which turned out to be disappointing. I’m told the movie was cut from a three hour to a two hour. Thus, explaining it’s failure to impress most everybody who has seen it.

He published his first novel in 1965 with Random House, The Orchard Keeper. He says that he sent it to Random House because it was the only publishing house he knew of. I wish I had a story like that to tell as a writer. It always irks me when a writer is so good that he just wings his work to the first publishing house he knows of and is immediately accepted.

Known for his infrequent use of punctuation, whatever that may mean, McCarthy says he never uses semicolons or quotation marks for dialogue. He guards his privacy, although I find it interesting that after 40 years of hardly ever giving an interview, he appeared on Oprah’s show because she picked his book for her book club. He told her he didn’t have any writer friends and he preferred scientists.

For a time, McCarthy lived with his then current wife in a shack with no running water and no heat in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. They had a child together; then she left him because he insisted she get a job so he could write novels. In the 60’s he moved to El Paso, Texas and lived there for 20 years. He now lives in New Mexico. He once said he didn’t believe in being chatty about his books because it got in the way of his writing.

Writer’s Journal: I’m including a new edition to my blog called Writer’s Journal. Each week, I’ll say a paragraph or two about where I am in my writing. I may also chat about a book I’m reading or something I’ve viewed in movies or tv that I especially liked. I wrote a story this week for Timeless Tales. It is for the Psyche and Cupid issue. If you’d like to write a fairy tale, you have until Feb. 25th to submit there. Also, I failed to relate that I wrote an article for Guardian Angel Kids in the February issue about pigs. If you want to discover some things you might never have known about pigs, be sure to read it. I am currently watching a great series on Amazon Prime, if you have that, called Paradise Lost. There are three parts to it. If you liked the NetFlix series  Making a Murderer, as I did, you will love Paradise Lost about the slaying of three second grade boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the witch hunt involved in the arrests of the three teenagers originally indicted for their murders. Both series are documentaries.

Well, I’ve blabbed quite enough. This is a long blog for me. Join me next week for another writing recluse. This series will most likely extend into March.1268




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