Cover image for Writing Blue highways : the story of how a book happened
Title:
Writing Blue highways : the story of how a book happened
Author:
Heat Moon, William Least.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbia [Missouri] : University of Missouri Press, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
164 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Summary:
The story behind the writing of the best-selling Blue Highways is as fascinating as the epic trip itself. More than thirty years after his 14,000-mile, 38-state journey, William Least Heat-Moon reflects on the four years he spent capturing the lessons of the road trip on paper--the stops and starts in his composition process, the numerous drafts and painstaking revisions, the depressing string of rejections by publishers, the strains on his personal relationships, and many other aspects of the toil that went into writing his first book. Along the way, he traces the hard lessons learned and offers guidance to aspiring and experienced writers alike.
Language:
English
Contents:
Hacking out -- The journey contemplated -- Onto the blue roads -- Following a Blackfeet pencil -- The pretzel versus the book -- A guy in a metal suicide-box -- A piece of the spectrum -- A burglar and a surgeon -- The secret society begins to emerge -- The wheel and the plaque -- An appendix of sorts.
ISBN:
9780826220264
Format :
Book

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Central Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Audubon Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Hamburg Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Kenmore Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Williamsville Library E169.Z8 H3855 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Winner, Distinguished Literary Achievement, Missouri Humanities Council, 2015

The story behind the writing of the best-selling Blue Highways is as fascinating as the epic trip itself. More than thirty years after his 14,000-mile, 38-state journey, William Least Heat-Moon reflects on the four years he spent capturing the lessons of the road trip on paper--the stops and starts in his composition process, the numerous drafts and painstaking revisions, the depressing string of rejections by publishers, the strains on his personal relationships, and many other aspects of the toil that went into writing his first book. Along the way, he traces the hard lessons learned and offers guidance to aspiring and experienced writers alike. Far from being a technical manual, Writing Blue Highways : The Story of How a Book Happened is an adventure story of its own, a journey of "exploration into the myriad routes of heart and mind that led to the making of a book from the first sorry and now vanished paragraph to the last words that came not from a graphite pencil but from a letterpress in Tennessee."

Readers will not find a collection of abstract formulations and rules for writing; rather, this book gracefully incorporates examples from Heat-Moon's own experience. As he explains, "This story might be termed an inadvertent autobiography written not by the traveler who took Ghost Dancing in 1978 over the byroads of America but by a man only listening to him. That blue-roadman hasn't been seen in more than a third of a century, and over the last many weeks as I sketched in these pages, I've regretted his inevitable departure." Filtered as the struggles of the "blue-roadman" are through the awareness of someone more than thirty years older with a half dozen subsequent books to his credit, the story of how his first book "happened" is all the more resonant for readers who may not themselves be writers but who are interested in the tricky balance of intuitive creation and self-discipline required for any artistic endeavor.


Author Notes

William Trogdon, who writes under the name William Least Heat-Moon , was born of English-Irish-Osage ancestry in Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a bachelor's degree in photojournalism and a doctorate in English from the University of Missouri. Among his writing credits, he is the author of Blue Highways , which spent 42 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1982-83. William Least Heat-Moon lives and writes outside Columbia, Missouri.


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