The Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing Coach SM
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Jimmy Buffett Can Write
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions. We are an interactive community of authors and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre, but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing information.
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript, and are provided to the general public. Because we are an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month features some important information on the writings of Jimmy Buffett.
Jimmy Buffett Can Write
Did you know the Margarita Man could write? In 1988 he co-wrote a children’s book, The Jolly Mon with his daughter Savannah Jane Buffett who was then six. In 1989 he published his first stories for adults in Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions, which was the longest running New York Times bestseller of that entire year. His next book, the novel Where is Joe Merchant?, immediately hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and in 1998, when his autobiographical book A Pirate Looks at Fifty was published, he became one of only six writers to have held the #1 position in both fiction and nonfiction on the New York Times bestseller list.
His most recent offering (2004), A Salty Piece of Land, by Little, Brown, and Company, is a hilarious romp from Key West to the imaginary Caribbean island of Cayo Loco where Tully Mars finds himself restoring a lighthouse, sailing the trade winds on a 142 foot schooner, the Lucretia, with a 101-year old great-grandmotherly sailor, Cleopatra.
Buffett’s characters resemble caricatures of famous people, past and present. His horse is named Mr. Twain; his sidekick, Ix-Nay; another sidekick and famous singer, Willie Singer; the two nymphs, Dawn and Noel-Christmas; the wicked witch of the West, Thelma Barston; his buddies Sammy Rae, Bucky, and Captain Kirk; the number one pitcher from Havana, El Cohete; the number one mate on the Lucretia, Solomon; Donna Kay and Clark Cable from Alabama. Other characters abound for short interludes, weaving their network into this “one helluva fish story” about Tully’s travels from Wyoming as a cowboy to a deckhand, expert fishing guide, storyteller, and humorist. Tully’s transformation is both expansive and believable as he tackles the out rigging on the Lucretia, explores the Mayan ruins and isolated islands along a chain from Key West to Belize and Cayo Loco, locates and restores a relic lighthouse lens amidst “prayers, chants, and wild drum beats” (p. 400).
This fast-paced romp across the sand, oceans, villages, with Tully’s myriad cast of characters reads like a parody of the old-spun yarns of yesteryear. One can only imagine Captain Courageous at the helm with a pipe in his mouth, water pouring over the deck, raingear in tow, trying to navigate the dangerous straits and ports of call. Just when you think you’ve completed one plot, another cleverly woven subplot punches you in the face with yet another twist of fate that carries young Tully to another exotic island, once inhabited by pirates and rum runners.
Buffett has turned from lyrical to narrative in his latest novel about living out one’s dreams with reckless abandon. His attention to detail about lighthouses, wildlife, marine life, and sailing are each a treatise that educates and enlightens the reader. He is a fourth-generation sailor, rabid fisherman, pilot, surfer, singer, and frequent traveler to exotic and remote places in the world. Don’t miss this page-turner of epic proportion that is a parody of Captain’s Courageous, Moby Dick, Old Man and the Sea, and every other sea story written or imagined.
- Read a “light novel” with multi-plots for escapism rather than a “who dunnit” mystery that requires intricate detail and subplots; don’t worry that everything doesn’t tie together. Just enjoy the story’s twists and turns.
- Parodies are exaggerated statements with humorous barbs at established customs, mores, or truths. On a deeper level the narrative pokes fun at the serious side of life. Write a humorous 500-word essay that pokes fun at an established custom or institution using hyperbole and fantasy.
- The tabloids are full of exaggerated dribble that borders on the ridiculous, yet has an element of belief. Also any good comedian uses parody in their routine for comedic relief. Listen to Letterman’s or Leno’s opening monologues for poking fun at politicians.
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Keith Barton, Ph.D.
(c) Copyright 2010 A. Keith Barton, Ph.D.
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The Writer's Connection SM Mission:
The Writer's Connection SM is dedicated to helping first-time authors create their first manuscript for publication and to offer an exchange of ideas and opinions from our readers who might be interested in becoming authors.
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach and is accepting new clients. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in executive development, founded and managed Texas Community Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home services to persons with mental retardation, and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest Houston since 1990. He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate interest in helping others become attuned to their creative powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family therapy and health psychology. He has published articles, made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality