From: kip.stratton@ni.com
Date: 01 Feb 2001

Dear Rara-Avians -- I'm sort of in the state of mind that Hoke Mosley was in during SIDESWIPE. I really want to simplify my life. I'm not quite sure I'm ready to buy matching jumpsuits just yet, but I am ready to reduce the number of e-mails I get daily. So I'm going to take some steps to do that this week. One of the plugs I'm going to pull this weekend is rara-avis. In the three years or so I've been hanging around this list, I've picked up some good bits of knowledge. Thanks to those of you who have provided them.

One final bit of sharing from me: I read two pretty bad books over the holidays that nonetheless might be of interest to the more hard-core among you. GET DUTCH is a new biography of Elmore Leonard that fails in many ways, not the least of which is the way the author, Paul Challen, asserts his ego throughout. It's not particularly well written. However, it does contain some interesting material about the relationship between Leonard and his Hollywood agent, who seems to have a great influence over how Leonard edits his books before he submits them -- a much greater influence than his literary agent. So there is some good stuff about how Leonard writes his books

While driving through the ice of North Texas, I stopped in at my favorite used bookstore, Recycled Books in Denton (a place well worth visiting if you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area). Among the books I picked up there was one many of you probably already are familiar with: QUENTIN TARANTINO: SHOOTING FROM THE HIP (which I believe is going to be reissued soon, but I may be wrong about that). Again, I have a hard time recommending it: It's not very well written either. However, I did glean some points of interest from it. For instance, I learned that QT was a serious reader of Willeford, learning from The Boss how to manage time and structure. Of course there was a lot of material about the influence of Leonard's books on QT. I also found out that one of QT's favorite novels is also a favorite of mine, Larry McMurtry's ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GOING TO BE STRANGERS
-- strange to think of McMurtry as an influence on QT. Finally I learned that QT kept a copy of Leigh Brackett's NO GOOD FROM A CORPSE handy while he was writing PULP FICTION; hard to think of a better source of inspiration.

So: See you around the corner's office. Adios....Kip

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