Marriott, managed to expand the family’s business from a chain of restaurants to a chain of hotels in a period of over 50 years. The question came from an editor interested in improving the quality of writing at her newspaper. Like many an editor and reporter, she wanted to know what produces great writing.
'” That’s exactly where I was stuck — hogtied by the calendar, the clock, beginning, middle and end.
Among the strategies Root described was “choosing an extra-literary design,” drawn from the material itself.
There is one quality that must be inherent, and that is desire. In two weeks, the NWW season begins, and these low-cost weekends devoted to the craft will be available coast to coast, offering a chance to learn from leading writers, editors and teachers who donate their time and expertise.
You have to want to write, because the world, and your own doubts and fears, will array a battery of resistance. How I wish, when I was just starting out, that I had the chance to hear how the best writers do it.
In the remaining listings, various unidentified employers were seeking a mason (“for outside work”), a night doorman to work the 5 p.m. shift (“must be sober and reliable”), a painter, an experienced routeman, and a shipping and receiving boy (“Will train.”) A lawn mower shop was looking for a “young mature man, experience preferred.” No salaries were provided, except for the routeman’s $3-an-hour starting wage and $1.50-an-hour for the shipping and receiving boy. Among other roles, the served as town crier of promotions, heralding corporate advancements with one-column head-and shoulder shots of unsmiling men in dark suits and ties posed over captions titled “Named” (executive vice president ), “Appointed” (national sales director), and “Get Top Posts” (senior vice presidents). Daddy was nearing 50 after an uncertain living in sales for half that time; I can picture him eagerly drawing a circle around the listing until he read on and realized that the requirements, like those stipulated for the prospective doorman, put him out of reach.
With Daddy out of work, the burden of supporting our family of eight had fallen on my mother, and two of my older siblings, Jay and Shelley, who were still in high school. He was built like a ton of bricks, and he was a character.” As for those seasonal launch jobs, they were always parceled out to “young, eager college boys.” Daddy wouldn’t have had a prayer. My brother turns 60 this year and in a sweet case of poetic justice, he has capped a 30-year career in banking, most of it overseas, by taking over as president of Putnam Trust Co., the leading bank in Greenwich. On an inside page devoted to stock listings, advertising for brokerage services, and an oil drilling fund, the perks of executive life were also on display in a seemingly-irresistible offer from the Industrial Bank of Commerce: “Loans for executives By Phone. To sell business machines in the Stamford area, the firm was looking for someone “Young and aggressive.” accepted my piece, and editors Anne Fadiman and John Bethell continued to teach me still more lessons during their careful editing.
He described how one writer used tarot cards to sequence her memoir about her friendships.
Another used locations in a subject’s home — the Great Room, the Landing, the Grotto — to organize his essay.
Root, Jr., who also founded a journal of the same name that publishes memoirs, essays and other fact-based narrative forms grouped under the umbrella of creative nonfiction.
Their book is an inspirational anthology of creative nonfiction, but it is also a useful handbook for students of the form.