Today I have reached a milestone of sorts as I have passed the 5900 blogs mark. I was lying in bed unable to sleep as I think of Bunny Watson connections among the 27 writer photographs of mine that will be displayed at the International Book Fair (FIL) in Mexico City beginning on October 13th.
I thought about the fact that while I may not be a good writer I am a writer. Some of my blogs are not bad. How did I get there?
I may have inherited some talent from George Waterhouse Hayward, my journalist father (the Buenos Aires Herald). I could have been inspired by my mother Filomena Cristeta de Irureta Goyena who was a fine poet.
But I am sure that there might have been some influence from my four years at St. Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas in the late 50s. The Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross were exceptional teachers. One of them Brother Dunstan Bowles, C.S.C. told me, “I am unable to read your terrible handwriting. Get an italic pen and learn to use it.”
When Rosemary, our two daughters and I moved to Vancouver from Mexico City in 1975, about three years after, I was working as a photographer (freelance) for Vancouver Magazine. I was immediately paired with rock column writer (In One Ear) Les Wiseman. He was and is a snob. He told me, “If you are going to listen to heavy metal rock it better be Motorhead. And don’t forget that Lou Reed is God.”
His editor Malcolm Parry informed me I was to write a cover story for the magazine as soon as the Falklands/Malvinas was over by the end of May 1982. I did, but by then I had some sound advice from both Les Wiseman and writer John Lekich.
Wiseman told me: “Unless you are Charles Dickens you never begin in the beginning. You start in the middle and work both ways." He further advised me to write about that which I knew and if I didn’t that I should consult and expert.
John Lekich told me: “Whatever you put in your first paragraph it should be in your last.”
There was one more mentor who helped who was an unexpected one. I was in Seattle to photograph James Ellroy. While taking his picture he told me, “Sometimes I open a manuscript in my computer and just change or add a comma. I then shut my computer. I have written for the day.”