Monday, February 11, 2013

Quill Gordon's Story Time

Private angling clubs are anathema to me but there is one that I might be convinced to join: The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society. This esteemed society of anglers sits on the banks of Fish in a Barrel Pond and stories of the goings on are brought to us regularly by its caretaker, Quill Gordon, via the Fish in a Barrel Pond blog.

I've enjoyed Quill's writing for the past few years and he and I have exchanged notes on writing and angling. I was pleased to receive a draft of some new work a few weeks ago. It's the sort of stuff that puts you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next installment.

Quill has also been toying with the mechanics of electronic publishing and recently published three essays on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to test the waters. These three essays, published under the banner "Quill Gordon's Story Time: Tales of the Outdoors for Anglers and Others" are wholly enjoyable in a manner that readers of Quill's blog will immediately recognize.

I'm not sure how to characterize Quill's writing style but there's a strong dollop of Mark Twain in there coupled with something else I can't quite put my finger on. The first story I read was "The Buddy System". This tale of the untimely death of an angling buddy will serve as guidance for future generations caught in the same situation.

The second was a cautionary tale of tinkering called "The Conflagration at Green Damselfly Cove". The ends that man will go to to tame fire and solve problems better left unsolved is perfectly captured. The last installment is "Teach a Man to Fish...". This tale provides insight into the intersection of fly fishing, beaver ponds, and the absurdity of otter angling.

If you enjoy Twain's writing you'll feel right at home with Quill's. The fact that he narrates around the sport and business of fly fishing makes it that much more enjoyable.

As I said in an earlier post, I believe electronic publishing will continue to change the way we both find and consume literature. Gordon's is a good example of the trend. I think the key will be finding the right price point for this work. At $1 for each installment the volume of content felt just a tad sparse. I didn't feel cheated, so the value seemed right, but I think Quill, and other author/publishers, will continue to seek the right sweet spot along the price continuum.

No doubt we'll see more from Quill in the near future. I, for one, am excited at the prospect.


  1. I've suggested 3 for a $1, there's actually a precedent for that set back in the 19th century to get readers interested in an up and coming book.

    There's a quote toward the end of Teach a Man to Fish that still makes me laugh out loud every time I read it, but that would be giving things away.

    1. I think I know the line you're referring to. :-)

      I'd even go for 3 for $2. Seems like you're getting a bargain.

  2. I stumbled upon your blog much by accident through The Angler's Culvert.

    Recovering from an appendectomy and bored to the point of death I read Johnny's poem and clicked over to your blog. After reading, and reading, and reading, I clicked on your link to Quill Gordon's Fish in a Barrel blog.

    I'm not what you would consider a very good fly fisherman due to my horrible habit of partaking in the destruction of our environment by patronizing local golf courses.. However, I have been known to sneak a fly rod onto a golf course from time to time.

    Steve, I'm very happy I found your blog and Quills. I may be a part time wanna be fly fisherman and terrible golfer but I do enjoy great writing. So glad I found all of you.

    I scooped all three of Quill's books up Super Bowl Sunday. When will you be publishing some short stories?

    1. I certainly wouldn't read Jonny's stuff unless I was bored to death. :) I'm going to be watching Quill's experiment closely. ;)

  3. Thank you for reading and reviewing, Steve. I always appreciate the honesty, time, and effort that goes into your posts. As far as membership in the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, you should always be careful about joining clubs that would accept you as a member.

    Ken G is a notorious cheapskate but I understand the concerns about pricing. To me, asking one penny more than the minimum allowed price seems a fair starting point, especially for chuckles that pop up long after the reading is done. I'm certainly not dead set against anything other than free and I do see bundling some into collections as more stories are published.

    As for poor Peter, I had been under the impression that 'by accident' was how people stumbled into the Culvert. He chose an interesting path to get out and I'm glad he did, even if he is a golfer. I must admit, though, that golf course water hazards can hold some great fish.

    Thanks to all who read, no matter the format, and thank you especially to those who offer input, feedback and support. I used to do this stuff only for myself but it is a lot more fun knowing others are picking it up.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Quill. I too have noted various deficiencies in my readership from time to time but I still let stop by; even the golfers. :)

  4. I like to read short blog posts on-line. I like to read stories in books made of paper.

    I'll pay almost anything for good stories in books. If your shit's any good, you should expect to sell it for a lot more than a buck. Otherwise, it should be free.

    I think it was Twain that said that.


  5. Oh, I'm quite new school really; connected to screens all day. I like the heft of a nice book, in the hand.