Sunday, December 25, 2016

Stop Smoking the Disney Way

After you write a book about something you immediately forget everything about the subject you were researching and never want to hear anything about it again. That's a tidbit about writing. Okay! But once I wrote a book about cigarette lighters and just for a month or two after it came out I would run across an item that I wished I had been able to include in the book. That stopped happening quickly and also I stopped "blogging" forever, as you can see. But now - after what I assumed would be an eternal hiatus - I just read something that I wish I would've heard about in time to put in my book. Okay, in this part of the Walt Disney biography that Megan Abbott and I are reading, Walt Disney has turned kind of scary to everybody: "layout artist Ken Anderson inadvertently singed Walt's mustache while lighting a cigarette with a new lighter during a storyboard session." Disney leaps from his chair and showers Ken Anderson with invective we shan't print here. "Anderson threw away the lighter and never smoked again." There are a couple of good places in my book for that anecdote, though based on my royalty statement I'm pretty sure there's not a clamor for an extended second edition. In a poignant aside, the author Neal Gabler adds, "Anderson admitted he cried."