Friday feature: @JimLamb

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Another week, and another Proser is strapped into the chair in our interrogation room.

We have a few more ladies and gentlemen lined up, but we still want to hear from any other active Prosers who’d like to be featured.

This week we ask similar questions to a regular poster of some awesome wordsmithery. He's also a great supporter and commenter; and you have no doubt come across him. If not, make sure you do! Any website links please cut and paste to link.

His names are virtually the same: Jim Lamb in the real world and @JimLamb on Prose. He tell us: "It’s easier being “real me” than a virtual me. (I’m a Proser not a Poser.)"

Jim lives in Florida and is now a retired journalist. He describes himself in three words as a: “Happy Camper, mostly.”

He starts by explaining what his relationship is with writing and how it's evolved: "I loved to read as a kid. Wanted to write poetry. Silly choice. Why? Born in a steel town. Grew up in a coal town. My father and grandfather worked in the coalmines and later construction. It was a “Zoolander” situation. (Derek and his coalminer dad, Larry.) My father tried to teach me hammer-and-nail stuff, but I’d mind-drift. Then he’d yell at me, saying, ”Why don’t you just go read a book!” So, of course, I did. Many years later, after getting out of the Navy, I used the G.I. Bill to attend college, double-majoring in Mass-Comm and Poly-Sci. Graduated in 1977. Went to work at The Tampa Tribune. My Dad ordered the newspaper, read my stories and gave me feedback. It was great."

As ever, we ask what reading adds to his personal and professional life. He explains: "Reading gives you insight. Depth. Character. You can travel in space. Go back in time. Get out of your own skin and get into a story."

We want to know what he's up to and what future literary ventures we can look forward to in future posts. His reply: "Last year I self-published “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales.” It’s the story of how I survived Vietnam and kept my sense of humor. It’s available on Amazon.com as an e-book. Beyond that, I free-lance, mostly news releases. In between assignments, I scan CNN.com, BBC.com and other news websites for interesting topics about which to write."

http://www.amazon.com/Orange-Socks-other-Colorful-Tales-ebook/dp/B00VH6XR38

As an active Proser, we ask Jim to explain what it is he loves about Prose. "The intimacy. The great young talent. The exuberance. Immediacy. Feedback. I can’t imagine what it would've been like having TheProse.com growing up. Wow!"

We agree. For our ongoing list, we want to know what Jim would like us all to read before we pop our clogs. He answers thus: "For general audiences, the Bible (KJV). Wonderfully written. Great stories. For fellow Prosers, who want to learn the technical side of their craft, I highly recommend “How to Write, Speak, and Think More Effectively” by Rudolf Franz Flesch. It’s an older book (1960) but still available and valuable. You can read my review here:" 

https://medium.com/curiosity-never-killed-the-writer/ready-set-jump-29ef191bd87a#.7nadksz5t

He waxes lyrically about his unsung hero (or heroine): "Mrs. Emory, my English teacher in high school. She saw past my motorcycle boots, long hair, sunglasses and teen-induced moodiness. She planted seeds that took years to root and grow, but eventually they produced a healthy harvest. Why she took the time to invest in me, I do not know. Perhaps she possessed the genuinely passionate and patient heart of a true teacher. That’s a powerful quality in a person."

Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums him up? “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” — Stephen King"

Does Jim have music playing when he reads and/or writes? He does. It's this: "Currently, almost anything by Giuseppe Verdi—though it varies. (I also have a great collection of jug band music. Rock ’n’ Roll, too.)"

He climbs out Prose's tenaciously wayward time machine into that grim dystopian future with no books. What Jim says to them is this: “In the beginning was The Word . . .”

Is there anything else he’d like us to know about him or his social media accounts? Just this: "My website is http://www.jslstories.com. I also post on Medium.com. My goal is to get back on Twitter eventually. (I bailed out some years back.)"

Many thanks to Jim and his great answers. If you want in on the action, or would like to know more about a fellow active Proser, tell us on info@theprose.com