Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I just finished the postscript of Stephen King's _On Writing_ and felt the hand of God. I've had this book for over a year, and should have finished it long ago, but for some reason, hadn't. The postscript was about how writing helped King get past the awful pain and suffering of his recovery from the hit and run accident that nearly killed him in 1999.
I've felt desolate and worried ever since my Grandma entered the ER for her first heart scare a month ago--and have been unexpectedly less capable of handling the emotional pain and fear that has accompanied me watching her go downhill, then uphill a bit, then back down, through a pacemaker surgery, to a physical rehab center (King mentions that PT stands for Pain and Torture--couldn't agree more!) and now back to the ER and hospital with pneumonia.
I am sometimes able to forget about her plight, but when the phone rings with an update or I think of her I feel enormous guilt for being happy and not worried for a while.
King writes of the redemptive power of getting back to writing--and it struck me as just how I have been feeling.
Something about all of this displaced stress (after all, Grandma is the one suffering, not me!) has made me itch to get writing and I find myself newly enchanted with the craft itself as well as the act of writing and continuing my book in progress. In his postscript King calls it, "getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay?" Brought tears to my eyes when I read that. Not exactly what you want when sitting alone in the Borders' cafe, but it moved me. Partly because I had been feeling guilty about the creative bursts spilling out during a time when I should be focused on someone else. I felt selfish. And yet King prods me onward: "a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic...drink and be filled up." Ahhhh. Beautiful words. And I got to read them just at the time when I needed them most.
So amazing this creative power and urge to write it down. I feel I'm being given the green light to wallow in my imagination and share whatever springs forth.
Deep down I know Grandma would approve--she just completed her fourth nonfiction book at age 87. I just pray that she's around for me to share my story with her.

Friday, March 26, 2010

book covers

I took these photos on our honeymoon in Wyoming--and thought they would make good book-jacket covers.

Which is your favorite, and what kind of story do you think it would suggest?

twilight or dawn?

Is it sad that I am (the last person reading) the Twilight book? I know, _Farenheit 451_ to _Twilight_?? Yikes! Don't roll over, Mr. Bradbury! I just needed something light to read in order to fall asleep. Really...
I admit--it's entertaining. And, while reading the first several chapters, I had a vision of my own words, my own story, actually in print. That was the first time I have ever been able to actually picture one of my stories in a published form. (Perhaps it was much less humbling to compare my own writing to this particular book, as compared to 451...) It came in a flash, and I saw my words on the page for a brief, glorious moment.
There hasn't been much time for writing lately, especially with my Grandma in the hospital for heart problems. This amazing, 87 year old powerhouse has just finished writing her 4th book! She has self-published them, and they are amazing. The latest is a fascinating geneological history of her Green(e) side of the family, mostly from the women's perspectives. She does a wonderful job of painting the colorful picture of what these people's lives were like. (Mostly, they were horribly tough and they had to toil for every necessity that I, soft and lazy, take for granted!)
Grandma is a great reminder that it never is too late to write.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Books, books, books!! I can't get enough of them. I love them. I love to read them, to listen to them, to try to write them. They're my vice, my thing I can't seem to quite get under control. At the bookstore, I can browse and browse for hours, lost in the very covers of the books, even before picking them up to see what they're about. One of my husband's theater friends wrote and produced a play about fonts. Fascinating! No, seriously! The fonts were the characters. So cool! I think about fonts and in what font I would want a book I wrote (if ever I finished it) to be published. Exploring books and how they're put together is something of an obsession for me.

I rarely can walk out of a book store or library without a book in hand. This is to the great dismay of my husband, who is sick of the piles of books all over our small house. "Have you read this one?" he'll ask me, pointing at a novel on the shelf. "Well, no, not yet--but I will!" Then he'll go on to the next one. "How about this one?" I grit my teeth and try to explain that I do intend to read them all someday--but he doesn't understand. And I do read--really, I do. There just isn't enough time in the day for leisurely reading. These days I read a lot of Dr. Seuss and Pat the Bunny, to appease my one year old. And I marvel at his love of books, too. He has a giant shelf of them, already. I'm training him well.

My husband was very thoughtful in that he got me a subscription to, which is like Netflix but for audiobooks on CD. So far I've listened to 4 or 5, on my commute to and from work. I just finished _Farenheit 451_. What? you say, you haven't read THAT book by now?? Heretic! I know, but now that I got the extreme honor of listening to it--read by the author himself, no less, I feel like a better person. It's beautiful, this book. Poetry! Deeply disturbing poetry, which has become even more relevant today because so many of his imaginings have come true. Amazing. Such delicious words! I implore you to listen to this book. Or read it. Re-read it as the case may be. It will change your perspective.

I even love books about writing books. It's manaical. I can't explain it. It scares people. I worked at libraries all through college. Perhaps this made my vice worse? I don't know. I just know that I have to be near books. They're like my air.