Friday night I made the drive up to Dallas, (from my home in Austin) to meet David Wolverton for dinner. I have mentioned before that Dave is one of my mentors and a friend. We don’t get the chance to hang out often, so when he mentioned he was teaching his outline class this weekend, we made a plan for dinner.
We met after his class Friday afternoon and drove through the lovely Dallas traffic to a restaurant I have frequented for fifteen years, Two guys from Italy. It opened in 1979 and, as far as I can tell, they haven’t changed a damn thing since. It is an anachronism of American Italian cuisine, replete with Chianti bottles wrapped in wicker and fake grapes hanging from the ceiling and Dean Martin crooning eerie low.
We both agreed such an icon should stand or fall on its spaghetti and meat balls, and ordered thus. It was lovely, as I knew it would be, with rich meaty sauce, savory meatballs and pasta cooked just so.
The company was equally pleasant. Dave is great writer, but he tells a great story in person as well. If you ever get a chance, ask him about his friend John who joined a cult and went to space. It is worth the time to hear it.
This actually reminds me something I have been thinking about:
My friends have on occasion gently chided me about how I love being around and being considered one of the cool kids. This is not unique to writing, but that is where my focus has been for the last few years. I will admit it, it is true, but the reasons might be different than what you might think. I’m not a fame chaser, and my ego doesn’t need to inflate its sense of importance with who I know. I’ve been lucky/privileged to be able to work towards successes in other areas of my career that fulfill my ego needs.
What I like about the cool kids is that they got that way by being cool. They are FASCINATING people, and odds are good you will learn something from them. They will frustrate you, enrage you, surprise you, delight you, break your heart, and renew your faith in humanity. And that is just one of them.
I recommend making the effort to meet the creators in your world, they will inspire you. Meet your fellow travelers, and let them talk. That is always the hardest part for me. Learning to listen.
I am traveling this week and behind on writing. So if I’m a little quiet this week, don’t worry. I’m out here, slinging words and selling the future one statement of work at a time.