Friday, November 09, 2007

Words of Inspiration

I finished A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas this week, a really touching memoir. Here's a passage I wanted to share (there are beautiful ones just like it throughout the book):

I didn't start writing until I was forty-seven. I had always wanted to write but thought you needed a degree, or membership in a club nobody had asked me to join. I thought God had to touch you on the forehead, I thought you needed to have something specific to say, and I thought you needed all that laid out from the git-go. It was a long time before I realized that you don't have to start right, you just have to start. Put pen to paper, allow yourself the freedom to write badly, to get it wrong, stop looking over your own shoulder. You idiot I would say to myself after half a page. What makes you think you can write, and then I'd crumple it up and aim for the wastebasket. The one day somebody told me a story about a daughter at her mother's funeral, and something in the story caught in my mind and wouldn't let go of me. I tried to write it and failed, but instead of throwing it away (you idiot, give it up), I tried again, from a different angle. I realized that I had been imitating the voice of the woman who told me the story, but it didn't ring true coming from me. I decided to make the funeral my own, and to imagine one of my daughters as the narrator, and after three hours I had three pages that I actually liked. I was off and running. For the first time a story was more important than my ego, and the know-it-all voice that told me not to bother held no sway...

Great words, right?? Good to stow away and remember when that fiend writers' block or his friend doubt comes to hang over your shoulder for a while.

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And here's the Friday Feast!

Appetizer
Which snack do you like to get when you go to the movies?
Depends if I'm in a sweet (Junior Mints) or salty (popcorn) mood!

Soup
What year did you start using the internet?
Yikes, I'm not sure...probably around 1997, when I started my first full-time job.

Salad
What is your first name in Pig Latin? (Here’s how to speak it if you don’t already know!)
"Allieay" - kind of fun, right?

Main Course
Name something you are picky about.
My students' work in English class. I'm really old-fashioned when it comes to grammar!

Dessert
Fill in the blanks: I ____ ____ yesterday and I ____ ____ today.
I woke up late yesterday and I woke up early today (probably 'cause it's Friday and payday and the beginning of a 3-day weekend!)

Have a great Friday!

11 comments:

Melli said...

Oh darlin... it's not PICKY when you're a teacher! It's your JOB! And thankfully... you're doin' it RIGHT!!! (now, please pardon MY grammar... cuz when I'm bloggin' I'm doin' it WRONG!)

Amy said...

Here, here on the grammer! I wish everyone had better grammer!

Sarita Leone said...

What a wonderful excerpt. You've just sold a copy of that book. I look forward to reading it, thanks! :)

bunnygirl said...

For the first time a story was more important than my ego...

That's the way of it. When the story is about your own needs instead of the story's, it shows.

tegdirb92 said...

so lucky to be sleeping in!! Wonderful feast this week. Have a great long weekend.

Mel said...

I love that passage. Makes me wonder about other writer's "turning point" and why was that moment(s)different than others.

**"Liza"** said...

Great feast here!what a picky teacher you are!happy feast!

Deb said...

Nice Friday post! I am looking forward to sleeping in just 1 little hour tomorrow! I enoyed reading your blog! Have a great Friday , and stop by my blog if you can!

DEB

Marianne Arkins said...

I love where she says, "You don't have to start right, you just have to start."

Amen.

ellen b said...

Enjoy your long weekend...

Alice Teh said...

I have to write carefully when I'm writing to you. Watch me grammer and spelling... :D