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Posts from the ‘writers’ Category

Scant Gleanings and Appreciation for Miss Read

I realized this morning that I had not noted anything of particular interest from my past week’s reading. I think it may be because my reading was scant. That awareness right there is cause for changes for this week. I started out this morning with some reading time and came up with this:

“The writer has the sense that she knows where she’s going when she starts out–that is, she has some intuitive sense of a destination and maybe even an intuitive sense of what the journey will look like. But she doesn’t have anything like a blueprint…she must accept that she is working in the dark; she must suspend her desire to force herself to move in a pre-set direction and must hold tight to a belief in the process.” ~ Eric Maisel, Living the Writer’s Life.

While Maisel directs this truth to writers, let me say this is true for living life in general. We’re all working in the dark. It’s helpful to have goals and plans toward those goals, but we have to open ourselves up to the unexpected, and when it happens, keep faith in the good and able within ourselves and our God.

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missread

Dora Jessie Saint, aka Miss Read

I finally finished Thrush Green by Miss Read. This book was the beginning of her series of novels set in the rural fictional community she named Thrush Green. I found there were places I had to skim, and I believe that caused as much by my often fatigue as Miss Read’s sometimes lengthy descriptions.

Yesterday a writing friend and I were discussing the mutual fact that we’re finding it harder and harder to read current fiction. We find so much of it poor writing and crafting in general. Because of that I hesitate to recommend the Miss Read books to anyone under 40; by today’s standards the books appear too simple and quiet. Although I can point out that they have remained in continual print since the beginning back in the 1950s, I believe. Times change, the nature of people does not, and Miss Read writes about people and the earth they inhabit, and flora and fauna does not change much either.

The Miss Read books are definitely worth a read for improving vocabulary and writing in general. Miss Read could evoke feeling from choosing the perfect wording.

Within the books, are addressed love, longing, and heartbreak, the joy of childhood, death, alcoholism and plain meanness, poverty and thievery, beauty and community, being odd and an object of scorn, foibles and hilarity, growing up and growing old and having to let go of lifetime dreams. After identifying these themes, I don’t know how anyone could call the books simple. It was Miss Read’s ability that made them look that way.

Please let me know if you’re reading something you especially like, and why you like it.

Gleanings from the past week

As a new week starts, I go over a few things that struck me in my reading in the past week. These help to carry me forward ~

“Always be reading; always be writing down new ideas. Ten ideas a day.” ~ James Altucher, The Power of No.

This practice helps me to be in the moment, which is always the point of power and thus creativity. It is an exercise for the creative muscle. It is the act of writing them down, purposefully, that helps me to see these ideas that I wasn’t at all aware of existing in my mind. The first couple of days I was dismayed that I could only come up with a list of three or four, but with persistence, I’m now listing eight to ten. It’s a lot of fun. Reminds me of the practice that I learned early on to make written lists of everything that could happen next in a scene. Working the creative muscle makes it stronger. Do it on purpose.

“When I want to read a good book, I write one.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli, as quoted in Eric Maisel’s book, Living the Writer’s Life.

“Truly profound power and peace lie in the ability to change my behavior to suit my needs.” ~ Anonymous.

Any of you have some interesting gleanings from the week?

 

Gleanings from What I’ve Been Reading

“Learning by doing is especially important. There is more to be learned from writing a bad novel than from attending twenty good novel-writing workshops…And to do that writing, a writer needs inner permission to write.” ~ Eric Maisel, Living the Writer’s Life.

Giving myself permission to be the writer has been my life’s challenge. The world and family pull me in many directions. To be a writer requires dedication, commitment to the craft, even to the exclusion of loved ones at times.

“She walked into her empty sitting room and closed the door behind her the better to relish that sweet solitude which to her was the breath of life.” ~ Miss Read, No Holly for Miss Quinn.

Miss Read’s novels are a haven. They appear deceptively simply, yet these novels continue to be published today, providing wisdom, comfort, and joy.

“To endure is the first thing a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.” ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, author of Pygmalion

To endure is the first thing a writer must learn, too.

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