I thought once again about how learning history is, yes, about broadly knowing “big events”; but more important is drilling down to contextualize them and seeking better to understand those lives lived before ours.
My mother never knew any of my books even existed because I was certain she would have been unhappy with them; I didn’t see the point of creating trouble and my uncle had agreed with me on that…
I admit I adore some of those “who” I write, and my hope is that over the course of a book that a reader comes to do so as well.
My cousin in New Jersey, prompted I gather from all of our exchanges about her daughter’s writings, emailed me that she had the other day bought ALL of my novels.
Seriously, I’m not inherently anti-social or excessively aloof, or inclined to hermit-hood. I’ve been told (more than once) in person that I’m actually a pleasant person. I’m also “socially” NOT my uncle.
The more I write, the more I feel what I write is often a product of what has happened to me that I could not entirely control – memorable people, unexpected events, new ideas, and intriguing experiences and exchanges. All of us also occasionally feel ignorant, out of our depth, and even stupid…
We are truly UNIQUE as an author, really, only with our first published work. After that, while naturally we hope to grow and to improve, we will unavoidably always include aspects of the same again and again.
“Today is your birthday. Actually, it was February 29… and that was you. Of course you were born on a leap year. You couldn’t have had just an ordinary day every year like the rest of us.”
As for you visitors, and especially, followers. I can’t follow everyone back who follows me. However, don’t think I don’t notice you have been here.
I was also proofreading yesterday and I thought once more about the fact I am yet again unsure and uncomfortable about some of the things I have written, and I am writing about, in a manuscript. But that is also an aim. We should be unsure and uncomfortable at times in both our writing and in our reading.
It’s not the history so much as the fiction that lights up the pages.
Over a year and a half since I put its first words on a blank screen, Tomorrow is feeling increasing “today”: daily it is more complete. I had laughed to myself while sitting at that La Clusaz table as well that whenever it is finally finished, you may again think as you read some of it – as with parts of Conventions – that I have lost my creative mind.
“Are you going to be writing while we’re here?” our friends’ daughter asked me at one point as we walked in the town.
“I hope so,” I replied.
Writing is much like swimming: taking pointers while on land is helpful of course, and having a lesson or two or three in the water is necessary, but ultimately you must attempt to swim in the deep end entirely on your own.
We tend in our 21st century to consider reading a silent and private endeavor. Yet for most of history reading was far more social than it is today.