Thursday, August 30, 2007

To Jim Miller

Jim Miller appeared at the writers' group, bringing with him a notebook and a look of nervous anticipation. He had taken a class in writing at Macomb County Community College and decided that he wanted to be creative in a way that his current job with a large advertising wouldn't allow him to be.

"What did you bring?" asked Jon.

"I really..." he said, shuffling some papers.

"No, go ahead. Did you bring something?"

"I don't feel comfortable reading..."

"We're interested," said Jon. Jon tends to be more nurturing than I. I think I might have just asked him his blood type.

That was well over a year ago. Since then Jim has quit his job, moved to Florida with his family, and entered the Masters program to try for a degree in Creative Writing.

Jim is driven. He is often soft-spoken, quick to smile, and studies his environment with a keen eye. He is a smart man who enjoys discovery. He has a wry sense of wit.

The one thing about getting to know Jim which was most frustrating for me was that just as he and I were settling into a comfortable friendship, he moved. I miss him.

So visit his site. Read his work. Here's to Jim. I hope I kill him in fantasy football.


Charles Gramlich said...

good thing about the internet is that you can at least stay in touch even with those who move. I enjoy Jim's blog.

Kate S said...


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I'll check out Jim's blog. Stewart, you do know that by getting me involved, the guy will one day win a Stoker? Truly. The first guy who bought THE HOLY TERROR, never having written anything, Bill Sheehan, won a Stoker for writing a book on Peter Straub a few years back. Go, Jim!

miller580 said...

I don't know what to say here, except that my only real regret for leaving Michigan is that I had to give up going to the writer's group and hanging out with you and Jon.

I too remember that first night. I remember one person, reading the work of another writer, explaining that sometimes to help him write he starts with someone elses work and then launches into his own prose. Except he never stopped reading what the other person wrote, and he never started to read what he wrote.

I also remember that I was pretty nervous about having to read my story out loud, There was a woman present, and the story had a short sex scene...nothing graphic...some might even say that wasn't a sex scene...but in the presence of a woman? That and the poor soul that had read someone else's work had come under a little fire for not writing his own words.

But I read it with a nervous quiver in my voice. Then when I was done, there a was a year of silence...or maybe it was a brief moment.

Though the story wasn't perfect, I left with confidence and a desire to come back. I think you, Stewart, might have held back a little so as to not scare me away. (He does do that sometimes, don't let him fool you.)

I don't think I would have been willing to try such a move if it hadn't been for the confidence I was able to muster through our friendship. As I said, I miss the time spent with the group, but I miss the time after the meetings more.

I look forward to seeing you guys in december. And of course I look forward to opening a can of whoop ass on you in FF. I got me a great quarterback this year...I can't believe nobody picked Vick.

Sidney said...

Oh, that's Jim. Cool and great for him and his big step!

Jon said...

The best thing about Jim is that he can put Stewart in his place about rock music and films.

I remember that I felt like crap the evening Jim said he was moving. I harbored a secret hope that his house wouldn't sell.

I can't wait until Christmas.

M@ said...

What is it about Midwesterners and their writing groups? Cool.

Vwriter said...

I haven't met Jim yet, but I knew I definitely liked the guy when he left me a message on my blog pointing out that I seemed to update it only annually.

Looking forward to finally meeting him over Christmas holidays!

And Jim, if you're reading this, you've shamed me into working on a blog update.

Vwriter said...

Biannually. I'm going to update it biannually. That's almost too much, too fast.