Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What writing occasionally feels like

I helped a turtle across a road in a state park last week, right after I took this picture of it.
The turtle was not happy with my decision.
It waved its legs.
and opened and closed its mouth.
But then it calmed down and continued on its way.

Sometimes my writing feels like that turtle.
It ambles slowly in one direction
too slowly
. . . . leg, leg, leg, leg . . .
until I forcibly move it
while it yells at me that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I'm trying to sink into craft this summer, reading and writing and tuning out everything internet (including twitter, where I have been absent for months now, and facebook, which I quit about a year ago. Is this smart? I have no idea.).

Meanwhile, I've read:

A Tale for The Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout
The Celestials, Karen Shepard
Don't I Know You?, Karen Shepard
Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Karen Russell
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Karen Russell
The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
Where the God of Love Hangs Out, Amy Bloom

If you're reading, I hope you're reading books as wonderful as these.


Steven Cain said...

A Snapper!

Thanks for the great book list!

Will Overby said...

I believe we all feel that way about our own writing on occasion. Sometimes it's easy, other times words are stubborn and refuse to be pried out. I've learned to power through and just keep going. That's what the revision process is for, right? By the way, how's the kitten?

Anonymous said...

At the moment, I am reading, "When You Reach Me." (To be specific, page, 107) I have just finished Marcus, explaining to Miranda, the whole time thing. When he first talked about it, I knew exactly what he meant even though I've never read, "A Wrinkle In Time," (that is what book Miranda's reading right? I've read the summary for it, just not the actual thing, but I'm planning too) I picture time travel like that, but I tiny bit different. He says each seconds a picture, and I say each second exists in a parallel universe. So in one parallel universe, Miranda decides to travel to that Wednesday- but as a 62 year old- and she'll head to a different universe going on, that Wednesday, it doesn't matter if she even built the time machine yet in book Miranda's time, in a different section in time- one book Miranda's not living in- she did. I think, you can't change what's going to happen in the future, because in a parallel universe(or another picture, as Marcus would put it) the futures already happened. I don't think I explained that well, but what I wanted to say is when I read Marcus and Miranda's first conversation about it, I thought, "wait! Other people picture time as that! Wow!" And now I might finish the whole book today.(I hope not.... Then I have nothing to read after.... And my mom might get mad because she just baught it for me today:O ) well, love the book so far:)
P.S. I really like Collin, and I know someone who's like him in a way :)
Sorry for the long comment!

Rebecca Stead said...


Don't apologize! I loved every word of it. It's fun to get deep into twisty thinking about time-travel, and I hope you'll let me know what you think at the end.


Yes. And sometimes you can let the writing roll quietly and sometimes you have to muscle it into a new place. The kitten is great, thanks. He's getting rather large.


I had no idea! City girls should not cross turtles, probably. Though this one was a baby. (I think?)


Anonymous said...

I ended up finishing the book, so I'll probably read it again. I LOVED it! I was able to connect to it(like how Miranda doesn't like when other people read the same books as her, I want the book to be mine) and it wasn't predictable! At one point I thought the the person sending the letters was the laughing man but that was for only like 2 pages because you were able to put me off track. And I kept getting tricked with Collin, Annemarie and Miranda! There's a rose by her door, and I thought for sure it was from Collin and I'm thinking NOOOO!!!! And then it was from Julia! But you wrote how Miranda thinks Collin just likes pizza, not her, and then he was laughing at her at the music assembly, so that whole thing made me think he didn't like her, then I was surprised when he kissed her! I re read that like 4 times! (I was glad Collin liked Miranda and not Annemarie!) but I also liked how that wasn't the main part of the story, it was the notes, and how Miranda didn't end up with Sal, like in lots of those stories. Finally, is because the ending was good! Lately, I've been reading stories with open ended endings, and I am not a huge fan of them, so I was SO happy with this one! I need to read more of your books! Well, this was quite long again.....
Loved the book!

Timmy said...