I’ve been reading a series of books by Craig Johnson called the Walt Longmire mysteries. It’s part of my process for approaching the next big revision of my manuscript. Johnson is an excellent writer, a compelling story teller, and very successful as a result. A friend tipped me off about the books, and since I already was a fan through the TV series on Netflix, it didn’t take a big push to get me started.
Now I’m hooked.
Point is, I’m soaking up Johnson’s storycrafting techniques as I read his books. I’ve not read much fiction the last few years, and the books I’ve written would bore the balls off a brass monkey. So a deep dive into good stories will help me find a voice worth listening to.
One of his short stories, “Slick Tongued Devil,” relates his encounter with a con man Bible salesman, and his memory of the events around his wife’s death. I felt sad reading it. Reading about any death touches me deeply since my wife and older daughter died.
I wasn’t like this before. I maintained an aloof detachment from the emotional world most people live in. I’ll never be that detached again, and I’m glad. Life is more vivid, more real, more alive when you know death is always just an arm’s length away.

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