Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Envy and Creativity

From time to time I come across a book that is more than a good book. These books create envy in me as I read them, because I wish I had been the person priviledged to write them!

When I read The Chronicles of Narnia, I kept wishing I had been the person to create Narnia rather than C.S. Lewis. When I read The Hobbit, I wished I had created Hobbits and their rare adventures! But Narnia was not within me, and neither were Hobbits. I am thinkful for the people who were priviledged to craft them.

One reason I want to write is to be a part of that creative process. I dig within myself and search the world around me to find the means of creating characters that come alive in stories of high interest and excitement. I hope to grow into creating better and better stories to live in vicariously. I don't know how far I will progress in that endeavor, but I know I can only get there by attempting it.

In the mean-time, I am thrilled when surprised by a highly creative and ingenious book. I am reading one of those books now. I have only read the first three chapters of The Mysterious Benedict Society, and already envy is growing. My mind is asking, "How can he be so creative? How does he come up with these ideas? How did he make this world work so effectively?" The most haunting question is, "Why couldn't I have been the person to write this book?"

Trenton Lee Stewart has created a world that is delightful to travel through, and I am enjoying every bit of it. I am glad he is gifted with the talent to create such a story. Maybe my turn will come. If I am not destined to create such worlds as these men have, I am still richer for having experienced them. Best of all, the discontent created in me will compel me to create what I can, which is far better than creating nothing at all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I'm going through a strange time with my writing right now. I'm not, not writing that is.

OK, that may not seem strange, lots of people get writer's block. But that isn't what I'm talking about. It isn't that I can't write, it's that I seem to be processing, searching and sorting. I am trying to find something.

There are many things I can write about, many projects I can work on, but it doesn't seem right to do any of them at this time. It's like I am supposed to pull back and observe for awhile. I need to get my bearings and find the lay of the land before I move on. I must do this to know the direction I am to go.

There will be time to work on the already discovered ideas and stories, but right now I feel I am working on the landscape of my mind.

It's kind of like planning out a garden. The best way to plan a garden is to do it when you aren't doing anything in the garden itself. In fact, the best planning occurs in the winter when you can't go out and work in the actual garden.

This seems to be a winter for me in writing. I find I am drawn to the nebulous of an idea that wants birthed. So I am collecting, and making notes, and searching, but I am doing very little actual writing.

I'm a little insecure with that. Can I be a writer and not write? Does writing notes and thinking count? I guess it counts if I make the transition from that to something on paper. Hopefully that will come, but I don't want to force it, at least not yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Child's World

When we go back as an adult and see something we remember from childhood, most of us are surprised at how much smaller it seems. We may think of the adult perspective as the "real" one. But both are real, and remembering the reality of the child can enhance our writing.

The reality of a child is so much different, so much bigger, than the reality of an adult. It magnifies everything about their experiences, and that magnification can be caught and expressed. The heightened excitement, fear, suspense, newness, and vastness of a child's world enhances the story.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Does A Writer Put in a Blog?

So what does a writer put in a blog?

Obviously I don't want to post things I hope to submit to a publisher. I'm not ready to put my fiction in a blog. One of the things I CAN do that I would enjoy is write about reading!

Having a toddler in the house has renewed my interest in children's fiction. I am frantically searching for the favorites I read to his older brothers and sisters, while discovering new favorites that have been created since then. I have often thought about writing reviews of those books, and now seems a great time to do that.

It is just one small area in the vast ocean of literature out there. Writing about other's work will also help focus and define my own. So it's decided, this writer's blog may include many topics, but one of the main topics will be my impression, and celebration, of what others have written.