From the Desk of Garrison Keillor|
A prolific writer, Garrison Keillor is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and abroad. To the right, you find a selection of articles published since 1989, and a few unpublished pieces.
How I Write
From The London Times
December 4, 1999
I write every day except when I'm sick or my wife insists that we are on vacation. I like to write early in the morning, and if I wake up at 5am or even 4am, it is with a sense of gratitude for the extra hours of pure quiet. I make a pot of coffee, boot up my laptop, sit anywhere in the house that seems promising and launch forth.
A good night's sleep is a great tonic for the brain; a problem that baffled me yesterday afternoon now works itself out quite elegantly. When the baby wakes, I change her and bring her downstairs to play and then I resume work.
By late morning, most of that 5am ebullience has dissipated and one starts to plod. A sensible person would stop there, but I have deadlines and I grind forward. I write on the laptop and print out a draft; then I pencil in corrections and type them into the computer. It is crucial to put the work in typescript, read it word for word and patch it with a pencil: computer writing tends to be flabby and tone-deaf otherwise. I have a little room up in the garret where I can work, and often do, but I enjoy writing in proximity to the household, and if everyone is in the kitchen, I like to perch in the dining room.
Of course, my desk in the garret is a welter of flotsam and jetsam. I can write almost anywhere - in airport terminals and then on the plane, compressed into 14D, hoping the gentleman in 13D doesn't lean back and break my kneecaps. I don't do research, as such. In the comedy field, you only need a few facts to get you started, and sometimes it helps if they're wrong. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a boy, though it seemed an unlikely outcome since I showed no real talent. But I persevered and eventually found my own row to hoe. Ignorance of other writers' work keeps me from discouragement and I am less well-read than the average bus driver.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).