Friday, March 11, 2011
Paul is a Real Estate Novelist
Posted by Gst Dv Jcksn (experimenting with consonants only)
"Paul is a real estate novelist who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davey who’s still in the Navy and probably will be for life."
(Billy Joel, Piano Man)
True, I’m partial to this tune a little bit because I’m Davey and I did a stint in the maritime branch of the military—even though the hit climbed the charts a good 15 years before I enlisted. But I do have a more profound point. Besides wanting to get drunk and sing along to Bill’s anthem, I’m always captured by the part about the novelist. Like you, I first wonder what the hell a real estate novelist is, but then I zero in on just novelist.
It always rings in my thoughts after hearing the sweet lyrics that you rarely hear the word novelist anymore. I can’t think of one published pal that refers to him or herself as a novelist.
Is it because the term carries a snobby stigma? Is it like proclaiming that you’re Wile E. Coyote…genius? Typically, books still state novel on them somewhere. In fact, that can be quite annoying—a stack of pages wrapped in a cover, bearing a title: “The blankety blank blank…a novel.” Well of course it’s a novel, did they think we’d confuse it with a toilet plunger? So if the work goes out of its way to remind us that it’s a novel, why wouldn’t the proud parent tout this profession on business cards?
Often times, we hear the occupational label of writer. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Paperback Writer. This is only okay if we agree that it’s acceptable to also refer to a pianist as a key puncher. EVERYBODY writes. Look at the guy next to you in the grocery store, he’s writing on his phone (albeit in undecipherable code to the 40 and over crowd) while buying diapers. Saying that we’re merely writers is like calling an athlete a breather. Of course she’s breathing while sweating out the 10k marathon, but she’s doing way more than just that.
So are we.
Novelists must be storytellers, grammarians, investors, students, entertainers, cool word choosers, self disciplinarians, money managers, computer techs, publicists, and of course…writers. And this probably isn’t even the entire list.
I’ve probably punched enough keys to rouse your thoughts. I’m going to go back to just breathing for a while.