This month I've been attemping this crazy project called National Novel Writing Month (affectionately referred to as NaNoWriMo by participants). By the weekend after Thanksgiving, I had only amassed a word count of 22,207 of the required 50,000 words in order to be counted a winner. My story idea exhausted itself and there was no where else to go with it, but it ignited my love for reading and writing and sent me on a hunt for new reads to devour.
During the process, I looked up an old friend—The Sun Magazine—because I've often been inspired and informed and moved by the stories, articles, poems and personal essays that are printed on its pages. The Sun was introduced to me by my high school creative writing teacher—a thin rail of a guy with long greying hair. He was kind of a hippie (and no, I don't have a problem with hippies... he just stood out in the conservative district where he taught and I attended school)—but he had good taste in literature. He would bring copies into the classroom to show us how "real writers" exercised the craft. He would tell a group of us later while we were working on the school's literary magazine that critiquing high school writing was often an unfulfilling experience. I produced my share of really bad essays, so I suppose I contributed to his pain... But during those classes I understood that writing was very important to me and that one day I hoped to craft my words well. I think he was grateful to those of us who tried because we had respect for language even when we jumbled it badly.
So maybe two weeks ago I was surfing online and found the magazine's recently updated website. As an IT professional, I am in awe of the design work on the site. It really is perfect and flawless. But even if the site was devoid of elegant Cascading Style Sheets, I would still read the content. It doesn't need a nice dress to look good.
Endorsements aside, there is an article out there that I wanted to share. It was written by Stephen T. Butterfield in the March 1988 issue. It is currently published in the Favorites from the Archives section, but I don't know how long it will be available. If you find this post years from now and they've pulled it from the site, this particular article is also published in the third Best of the Sun collection.
Just trust me on this—it is a thought-provoking read.