Fan (non)fiction

Matt here, and let me tell you how (and who): I’m a falconer and a reader with about equal enthusiasm for each pursuit, which explains my familiarity with Steve Bodio’s work. I am a Bodio fan and have been since my first days as a falconer in the mid-80s. A couple years ago I stumbled into Steve’s email address (on a blog, in fact) and sent him the first of a series of shameless fan mail. If you know Steve, you will expect he replied with grace and courtesy, and he did.

These days I work as a Web administrator for a university library system, which provides me a skill set to offer a hero-figure a little service in return. So we set up Steve’s website and this blog, and that explains my involvement in the Bodiosphere.

I take this opportunity to post on Steve’s blog with (I swear it!) reluctance. Or at least trepidation. But he invited, and like a vampire I am obliged to step inside.

My goal/ulterior motive for helping Steve create his blog is to get him posting about the writer’s craft. I am a wanna-be writer and I eat this stuff up. Another hero, Hemingway, knew there were people like me, and he spoke to us—sometimes plainly in the middle of unrelated narrative. Wonderful! I hoped Steve would do the same, and sometimes he does.

To a recent post on the nature of book publishing, I offered the comment:

“…I see it as something like the creation of an elephant: low birthrate + long gestation + prolonged adolescence = one big, smart, long-lived, tough-skinned critter.”

To which my friend, writer and fellow falconer Rebecca O’Connor, replied:

“…we do the book writing thing because we can’t help ourselves anyway. It’s not like we WANT to wait around for it be published and permanent. We just can’t stop ourselves. But…if you want to gestate elephants (which sounds VERY uncomfortable) who am I to tell you to stop. :-)”

Having seen my wife gestate twins, I have no wish to break ground in that field! But I have to admit I want to write a permanent book. That’s my goal, tho I see it as a distant one. My near-term objective is to write readable facsimiles of my heroes’ prose—fan fiction, I guess, except not fiction…

So Steve: Did you start writing by emulating your heroes? If so, when did you stop doing that and become Steve Bodio?
(I’ll hang up now and listen to your answer.)

Leave a Comment