“They and the coyotes lived clever, disparaging, submarginal lives. They landed with no money, no equipment, no tools, no credit, and particularly with no knowledge of the new country and no technique for using it. I don’t know whether it was a divine stupidity or a great faith that let them do it. Surely such venture is neatly gone from the world. And the families did survive and grow. They had a tool or a weapon that is also nearly gone, or perhaps it is only dormant for a while. It is argued that because they believed in a just, moral God they could put their faith there and let the smaller securities take care of themselves. But I think that because they trusted themselves and respected themselves as individuals, because they knew beyond doubt that they were valuable and potentially moral units – because of this they could give God their own courage and dignity and then receive it back. Such things have disappeared perhaps because men do not trust themselves any more, and when that happens there is nothing left except perhaps to find some strong sure man, even though he may be wrong, and to dangle from his coattails.”
- John Steinbeck
- East of Eden
Noel Anenberg MPW is a Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times Contributor who teaches Inside Out Writing - Short Stories at Pierce College Los Angeles.
He is a graduate of the University of Southern California's Master of Professional Writing Program who lives in the Santa Monica Mountains with his wife and their Golden Retriever, Walter.
"When did I become a writer?"
There was no one date. I stammered when a boy. Stammered out of fear for a brutish explosive father and a desperate hysterical mother whose moods both changed at the speed of thought. I was constantly afraid I would say the wrong thing. Words did not come. Writing and reading with comprehension were beyond reach. I first read and understood a novel when on river patrol in the Mekong Delta during the Viet Nam War, Herman Wouk's "Winds of War." Wouk's Navy commander, Victor "Pug" Henry became my first literary hero. Through great novels and plays I came to know and feel close to heroic fictional characters before I developed the capacity to trust real people. I kept my distance to protect myself. I did not trust myself, I did not trust anyone. I was alone. I found and took succor from my deepest most trusted friends who populated the great classic novels I read. Dickens' characters, David Copperfield, "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." In William Synge's Irish play, "The Playboy of the Western World," Where Peegan Mike tells Christy a boy throttled and intimidated by his thuggish father "You should have had great people in your family, I'm thinking, with the little, small feet you have, and you with a kind of quality name, the like of what you'd find on the great powers and potentates of France and Spain...and you a fine, handsome young fellow with a noble brow...it's the poets are your like--fine, fiery fellows with great rages when their temper's aroused." My temper was aroused, vindicated. And the first line from Leo Tolstoy's splendid novel, Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I was no longer alone. Simply put, writing is the singular path I am fit to walk, words are the only clothing that fit well. It has been through literature that I have found another path, a path to love, light, and life.
THE DOG BOY
"“Anenberg beautifully and convincingly portrays the contradictions of American society during the period, and he ably juxtaposes Eaton's mission to save her son with stories of the past--showing a world which, despite many technological advances, has made few discernible social advances…."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay"
-- Flannery O'Connor
Private Consultation Available
Whether a memoir, short story, a screenplay, a novel you’ve always wanted to write, or the non-fiction exploration of a compelling subject you wish to explore Noel Anenberg will assist you, no matter your previous writing experience, in developing your idea from inspiration to publication in a safe and supportive environment.
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