Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Learning by Trying

A rare and wonderful moment arose last month, in which I actually had nothing to do. Well, not actually nothing, but the dishwasher was churning, the laundry was drying, the kids were occcupied, dinner was marinating, and bread was rising. I listened intently for a moment: the phone wasn't ringing, either. Nice.
Friend #7's library (displayed in Friend #12's bedroom at that time) drew me upstairs. Wedged between familiar classics (Friend #7 has impeccable taste in books and friends...) was an intriguing little volume: Bird by Bird (Some Instructions on Writing and Life) by Anne Lamott. Never heard of her, but it said "National Bestseller". That's gotta mean something, anyway.
I dipped in and was dragged away by great writing. Part writer's guide, part biography, and part late-night comedy, this is the book I didn't know I was missing all this time. Of it, the Seattle Times says,"A gift to all us mortals who write or ever wanted to write...sidesplitting funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing now, while we still can."
Friend #7 happened to be visiting at the time, (she doesn't live here presently, but her books do) and after complimenting my choice in literature, she whisked this little gem away to hoard it in some closet in Tennessee. The nerve.
But my loss was short-lived. Because I am vocal about my likes and dislikes, and maybe also because she was tired of my whining, Friend #12 lovingly found a used copy online and had it delivered to me. By the way, both of these friends give me presents. Life is full of give-and-take, and that's just the way this one worked out.

Why am I telling this story?

Because I am all revved up about learning to write, and write well. Okay, at least better.
When I started an online journal last February, it was all about Winter Therapy -those in the North Country will nod their heads at this last line- but it has morphed into something else. I have really really enjoyed writing this humble blog. Upon its electronically-lit leaves, I've tried my hand at musing, waxing poetic, trying to entertain, ranting, teaching, reminiscing and pontificating. Oh, and illustrating with pictures because no one likes a book without those. As I stated in my very first entry, the toughest task for me would be finding my voice, and I'm still fishing around for it.

So for all you kind people out there still electronically checking in with me, thanks. It means a lot to me, your tolerance for my bumbling around, messing with words, and shooting for pie-in-the-sky literary eloquence.

Ben Jonson said it well: "Who casts to write a living line, must sweat."
Someone else very wise said: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
And lastly, I always quote the old adage: "Horses sweat, men perspire, but women glow."

So excuse the glowing, and thanks for being patient. We all know God isn't finished with me yet.


Blogger Lore said...

I would just like to take this moment to remind you (and let all your lovely readers know) that I tried to find you a copy of the very book at Birch Bark before I wisked it away to hoard on some bookshelf (thank you very much) in Tennessee. AND that I did find you a book by the very same author and buy said book for you! See I love you too.

Oh. And I do have impeccable taste in friends. After all, I like you.

And someone else =)

10:05 AM  
Blogger kb said...

I love to read you waxing anything.

AND...I love YOU. Woo...I just might get a little teary-eyed here, but I'm in a computer lab and I certainly can cry in a computer lab.

Just know that I do indeed miss you, your family...and all that Hull-ness that transpires. Maybe I'll get my fix sometime before the year is out.

Until then, I'll have to give you a bergie fix electronically.

"I brought my beahg to cleahss. There we learned about books and such, and I thought about you. Yooouu...Yooouuuu."

I'm ridiculously random at times, and this comment is getting out of hand. So I must bid you adieu.


12:07 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

to lore: what can I say?
I am completely spoiled by you.

1:34 PM  
Blogger eyestotheeast said...

for the record - you were not whining =)

7:34 AM  
Blogger sunshine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Harmony said...

I'm thankful that I "happened" to see your blog. It is often an encouragement and even more often challenges me to a deeper love for Him. I hope you'll keep writing. Thanks for sharing with the world!

6:19 PM  

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