Posted by Lisa
Last week I posted an interview with Gregory Maguire I conducted in the spring of last year. Gregory is hyper-intelligent and delightful; a very inspiring writer to learn from. He recommended a novel: The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton, another Massachusetts native. It’s the story of two impoverished children who travel at night to a dreamland that is very real.
How many of us, I wonder, have a book that touched some corner of our souls in a way that made writing a possibility for vocation.
Mine was Ginny’s Babysitting Business. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know the author and an internet search gave me zero results. Another was Night of the Red Horse (terrifying magical realism I long to emulate) by Patricia Leitch.
At my son’s hockey game yesterday, I let my imagination wander. I came up with questions about his coaches, their families, the circumstances that led them to live in California; each of them is from far away. Not knowing the answers to many of these questions, I came up with my own answers. I can’t say I’ve ever done this before: look at people and make up their lives for them. It was engrossing; when my son later asked me if I saw his shot hit the post of the net, I had to say “Sorry, I missed it.”
It led me, last night, this morning, to think about the authors who wrote favorite books we have read and loved. Where were they when they thought of their stories. What were their circumstances as they banged on their typewriters or wrote long hand in that days before our blessed word processing programs. They were people, like you and me, creating stories, as you and I do.
Maybe writing is magic, thinking of stories, developing them fully in our minds. Maybe it’s magic that inspires us to persevere through the hundreds of hours, the revisions, the moments when we realize a plot point clearly isn’t working.
The holidays are coming, a time of magic. Find a piece of magic hidden inside you. Close your eyes and think of that book you loved as a child. The novel that told you writing is a cool thing!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Posted by Lisa