Writers and Woodworkers
I started this blog with the idea that writing and woodworking bear enough in common to justify frequent posts. That may be true, but, of course, I haven’t exactly made frequent posts a priority. What can I say? I’ve got stories to write and projects in the shop that demand my attention, just as I imagine you do (if you’re reading this).
Today, I thought I’d put a short post up naming all the woodworkers I’ve met, heard of, or know about through their work. This is one part recognizing the greats and one part shout-out to my friends. By all means please add comments about anybody I missed.
Author of the Nero Wolfe mysteries, former lawyer, one-time pencil salesman (yes, that used to be a job), Stout was also a woodworker. I only learned of this very recently, so haven’t done much research into the man’s shop life. What I have learned is that his passion for precision in writing carried over and, I suspect, was influenced by his woodworking practice.
If you’re into woodworking, you know this man’s name. Chris Schwarz has written a number of canonical woodworking books, including The Anarchist’s Tool Chest. He’s a contributing editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine, and frequent blogger and vid-blogger on all things hand-tool related. He also started my new favorite publishing company, Lost Art Press. Before getting into publishing and woodworking full-time, The Schwarz trained as a journalist and worked in the news and periodicals industry.
RJ was a longtime contributor to Popular Science Magazine, writing columns and articles on using power tools in new ways that expanded a woodworker’s flexibility. He began life as a poet and short story writer, and continued his prolific writing with a score of texts on joinery techniques, power tools, hand tools, and designs.
RJ’s son lives in town here, as does his son, David, Jr. The family tradition of woodworking continues through the generations, and the elder David keeps a blog at This Business About Woodworking, where he’ll share tips, anecdotes, and thoughts about the state of woodworking today. As a recent recipient of more free time thanks to the economy (he had to close his shop a few years back), David keeps his hand in with decorative turnings, and had his work grace the cover of Woodturning Designs.
Colin F Barnes
The first of my writing buddies in this list. In addition to cranking out a ton of excellent dark fiction, cyberpunk, and technothriller tales, Colin has a background in woodwork that includes his own workbench (every good woodworker’s first major project), and luthiery. As if loving his stories weren’t enough, the guy can make me a guitar (if I pay him right), so he’s definitely on my end o’ the world team. Plus, his taste in music is ace.
Another of my online writing friends, Vaughn is a frequent contributor to discussions and the blog at Writer Unboxed. His stories live in the realm of epic fantasy, and his woodworking background is no less epic. Can we say “Built his own Craftsman house.” Yeah, that kind of epic. Oh, and another guy with a solid taste in music.
Author of Writing for Profit or Pleasure, “Doug” is active on Twitter and freely shares tons of information for new authors just getting their feet wet in this business of writing. Going the self-pub route and need a quick primer on how to open your own publishing company? Doug is your man. He keeps a blog that he updates weekly with anecdotes about his rural life and woodworking practice. He’ll also share excerpts of his own science-fiction stories and thoughts on his faith. Doug’s always insightful and consistently full of good will.