Four years ago this summer, I had the good luck to land in Roland Merullo's workshop on the novel at Solstice Summer Writers' Conference. With an opinion or two of my own about writing, I listened to what he said with a critic's ear. To my astonishment, I agreed with nearly everything--about writing, about workshopping, about raising kids. (Then there was his obsession with golf. Oh, well.)
Thus, Roland became my writing teacher--except for my editor when I was a young reporter, the only such instructor I've had--and, just when I think I have nothing more to learn, he pops up again, always without announcement, with another thoughtful approach to someone or something.
Today's Boston Globe brings "The life Hemingway made," his op-ed honoring Hemingway's 110th birthday tomorrow, where he talks simply about the writer's life, Hemingway the writer, and his own as writer. Here's the kind of phrasing that has made me read every one of Roland's books (except the golf one): "...these were the notes of a song sung to the deepest part of me." Not forced, not complicated, but ... what notes of which "song" have reached the deepest parts of you?
This post also gives me the excuse to include mention of Roland's latest, his memoir of eating and, yes, golf, The Italian Summer, which I'm reading now. Guaranteed to make you hungry and to provoke a tendency to rent a villa, book a flight, and do what he, Amanda, and their two daughters, Alexandra and Juliana, did a couple of years ago: spend five weeks in heaven, excuse me, Lake Como. I also love this cover. Check out the golfer.