As a boy of age five I was jumping down into the shafts of active gold mines and being told stories by wise old miners and prospectors. Although I have sought out mineral wealth all of my life, I did not bother with a license until it was mandated by law. Here, in British Columbia, a prospector’s license is referred to as a Free Miner Certificate (FMC) and is required at the age 18).
My grandmother had been a school teacher and always encouraged me to read only the best that literature had to offer. In high school and evening study I had been encouraged to take some unusually courses that have stood me well most all of my adult life. Learning to ‘touch type‘ (now, keyboard skills) started in Grade 11, courses in public speaking and corporate and public finance a few years later helped set me apart from other graduates as most employers were always also looking for administrative and management skills.
When I was a young man living in a remote 200 man logging camp, I was fortunate to have a large number of older, wiser friends. There were no women allowed in the camp. It was a male culture; a society that is rare today. The women who influenced me the most were my grandmother, my friends Margaret and Shirley and their husbands and family, and my small aircraft flight instructor, Helen Harrison. All 200 loggers, each and every one, in my camp already knew that my grandmother had sent me cookies, even before I went to the commissary to pick them. Bob Scott, the commissary owner, seemed to have trouble with discretion. Meanwhile, I learned the value of using the grapevine, moccasin telegraph and rumours to quickly spread the news far and wide. Once loose, it travels as uncontrollable wildfire.
Do I have stories to tell? Yes. It is time to begin telling them.
First, I started off by searching for any of the best literature that I might have missed. Today I went to my library and checked Don Quixote with the intent of reading its entire 940 pages within the next three weeks; as I continually look for insight and inspiration for the writing job at hand:
Wordsmith– a fluent and prolific writer – a person skilled in using words: a person who works with words; especially: a skillful writer, a professional writer.
The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by one hundred writers from fifty-four different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavors to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods. Eleven of the books included on the list are written by women, eighty-five are written by men and four have unknown authors. Each writer had to select his or her own list of ten books.
The books selected by this process and listed here are not ranked or categorized in any way; the organizers have stated that “they are all on an equal footing,” with the exception of Don Quixote which was given the distinction “best literary work ever written.” The list organizes the works alphabetically by author.
I hope you are having a great life. I am always reminding myself to: Lean in, Lighten up & Let go.
Stan G. Webb