A new page has been added to the site in response to those that want all the series stories in one, easy to navigate area. Click the “Series Stories” link in the menu above and enjoy.
Also, today I discovered that I can change the name of the site without conflicting with the web address … thus the title’s spelling has been corrected. Perhaps many of you didn’t realize … or thought I just couldn’t spell. While it’s true I’m an “open minded” speller and in my haste to set the site up in 2013 I jumped before checking … I knew for some time that the error had been made. It was embarrassing to say the least. I fretted, “Will all the grammar and spelling gurus pass over my site with their noses pinched?” But alas, it was not so.
Stay tuned for another episode of a writer’s, “What I’m Reading and Why.”
There is a well – a reservoir that stores the great and lofty ideas of a writer. Its depth requires an air tank and its miles from shore to shore – a sturdy vessel. And while this repository of “what ifs,” insight, and observation is easily navigated while driving, waking, or standing in the shower … it does not lend itself to a map nor does it beacon in lucid moments at the keyboard. This wealthy ocean, this Shangri-La cool drink of creativity, exists in just that moment, that exact spot in the time-space continuum, where fear flees and boldness declares white squalls of edgy inspiration – drowning the willing victim in new worlds and unexplored feelings. A fickle sea when set as a destination. A happy grave when found in distracted efforts into Otherland. To die a little in that resting violent sea of throbbing neurons … every writer longs for that little bit of death each time they sit lively to perform their art.
“Owls have a peculiar knowing way, a strict sense of personal space, a connoisseur’s restful delight in their food, a certain repose, a remarkable capacity for necessary aggression.”
Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
When M read this to me recently, I thought, “What a great character sketch!” The style and flow of this sentence (and believe me, the book is full of them) makes me involuntarily smile as I pick each phrase apart and apply it to a person. I make plans for pouring this sentence (like a syrup) into my morning writing, infusing that delicious penchant for a chapter’s worth of information in such an adorable little package … and then realize I have gotten lost in its magic and am going to be late for work.
This is why reading, on a voracious level, is so important. I have accepted (to some degree) that I will not be able to read everything I want before I die. Even if I lived to be 110 years old, I would not be able to accomplish this feat. But think about this. Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds was published by Sasquatch Books in 2001 and won the 2002 Washington State Book Award, yet I would have missed it if M wasn’t a bird crazed darling who decided to read it. Further, author Lyanda Lynn Haupt has apparently been a prodigious writer since then, receiving another award for a book called Crow Planet, and putting out a more recent delicacy – The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild last year. I mean, with writing like this, I now feel obligated to add every one of her books to my reading list.
As a very analytical person, I have taken a step back from my fascination to write this piece and to ask you, “Am I overboard here?” Sure – it’s just a sentence. Maybe I could just read the one book and pat myself on the back as a writer, telling myself “Due diligence,” and all that. “We must read as much as we write.” This has never seemed like a chore. It seemed like selection of reading material was like a builder planning and acquiring supplies … prioritizing those areas where the absolute best must be purchased, and compromising where less expensive materials will do to make sure the finished product is better than the last one. “Trash in trash out,” must equate to “Artistry in artistry out,” I surmise. It’s a sentence. I ask you once more, “Am I overboard?”