Let’s Talk with James M. Jackson

The Right Tool for the Job

by James M. Jackson

Growing up, I learned everything my father could teach me about repairs, which is to say almost nothing. Dad was a classical absent-minded professor, much more interested in ideas than in fixing stuff. Because I had a habit of breaking windows (boys will be boys), I did learn how to replace panes of glass, and he made sure I could change tires on a car. Otherwise, I had no clue.

One difference between my father and me is he lived in or near cities; I live fifteen miles from where you can buy anything and twenty-five miles from a grocery or hardware store. Over the years I have learned to fix a variety of things, and the key, I’ve found, is that there is a right tool for every job. With the right tool, the job (generally) goes well; with the almost right tool, the air turns blue.

This late-in-life learning I’ve discovered applies widely. Cooks have a multitude of specialty tools. Even with my writing, I recently discovered the ProWritingAid program to help spot issues with my novel drafts. How about you, what’s your latest favorite tool?

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