It was a pleasure to get to hear Tim O'Brien read from his The Things They Carried in Spokane the other night. I've always loved his writing, and his delivery of it was even better than I expected. Afterwards, it was worth every minute I stood in line to get to meet him and yap at him about my dad being in Vietnam.
I've learned a great deal about verisimilitude and weaving fact and fiction through storytelling from the master. There's something unflinching and brutal yet tender in his writing that always makes me want to stop writing because its already been done so whats the point? And that's whats good writing is all about.
"You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you don't care for obscenity, you don't care for the truth; if you don't care for the truth, watch how you vote. Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty."
How to Tell a True War Story, The Things They Carried, pg 66.