Saturday, October 12, 2013
Memorable writing is like tape: it sticks with you and seals the gaps between the writer's and reader's minds.
Have you ever read a book that leaves you believing you KNOW the author? Or a book that makes you WISH you knew her or him? If you met him or her in line at a coffee shop, would you strike up a conversation?
Have you ever considered the favor an author does for you by either distracting, enchanting, enriching, or moving you with memorable words? A favor that certainly deserves a thank you...
Have you ever thought about thanking the author, that so-familiar stranger, that wished-for friend, for connecting with you?
If your answer to any of the above questions is Yes, then I encourage you to write the author a thank-you note via one of his/her social media pages. You'll be surprised how many authors whom you have never met (yet), except via their pages, will answer you. I have heard replies in recent years from some of my favorite well-known authors, such as YA greats Jay Asher, Ellen Hopkins, Sonya Sones, and Jordan Sonnenblick; from MG mentors Wendy Mass, Nikki Grimes, Sharon Flake, and Jennifer J. Stewart; from memorable adult fiction authors Owen Egerton and Lisa Grunwald, and others.
Whom do you plan to thank for a great reading experience? Tell me here in the comments below. Or share a grateful reply that you received in response to such a thank you message.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
One of my dearest friends died on this day, a decade ago, and in thinking of her and our relationship, this verse pops into my head:
"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
KINDNESS in another's trouble,
COURAGE in your own." (Adam Lindsay Gordon, Australian poet)
That verse from a much longer poem came to my attention via other memorable words, by one of my new favorite authors, Owen Egerton. Egerton quoted Gordon in his indelibly moving novel The Book of Harold: Illegitimate Son of God. Thus, memorable words give rise to other memorable words--and to images, ideas, and anything else born of artistic passion.
While reading those words aloud, I imagine a short film of the tide rolling in, leaving froth and bubbles on the shore--seen via a close up shot--and then rolling out to reveal two rocks protruding from the sand. Zooming in on the rocks, we see that each one bears an engraved word: one says KINDNESS, the other says COURAGE. Then a huge wave crashes over both, and the shot of the submerged rocks is drawn out, making the viewer wait for it, wait for it, wait for it--until the water again recedes, showing the engraved stones standing firmly where they were.
My mental movie shows how memorable words affect me. How do they affect you? How do they affect your own writing?
I aim to evoke mental movies in my readers. From the bottom of my computer screen, where I've minimized the document containing my current novel-in-progress, a voice now yells, "Rolling!" I need to get back on set. 'Bye-bye!