Sunday, March 27, 2011

Books In Homes

Today I was honoured to be invited to speak at Willmot Primary School, as a Role Model for the Books In Homes Project. Every student was presented with three new books at a book-giving ceremony (with thanks to sponsorship from a local club). It is hoped the new books will encourage reading and literacy. The day bought back memories of my very first new book. I was in Year 4 at school and the teacher handed out a Book Club brochure. You could choose any book and it would be delivered to school. Was I excited? You bet I was excited! I begged my parents to buy me a book…believe took a while to talk them around, but eventually they said yes. So I finally chose a book called The Shark in Charlie's Window, and I chose it because of the flying shark on the cover. When the teacher handed out all the new books - there was the flying shark, just like in the catalogue, all shiny and new. I'd never been so excited about a book in my life, and I read every single word. I'm sure that book turned me into a reader...and I hope that some of the students at Willmot are turned into readers after their experience today.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Mystery of Writing

I wanted to share something about writing - and I hope it makes sense to those who aren't writers. I'm in the middle of reading a book on the writing craft, Escaping into the Open - the Art of Writing True, by Elizabeth Berg. There's a small section on 'plot' which is explained so perfectly I'll quote it now.

"There are two kinds of writers, those who start with a plot and those who end up with one. I am one of the latter." Elizabeth also says, "When I start a novel, I start with a feeling. It's a strong feeling, but that's all it is. There's something I very much want to say and/or understand, and I need a novel to help me do it."

Well, today I had the kind of feeling that Elizabeth refers to in her book. There is something I feel that is worthy of saying - it's hazy - but it's there, and the only way I can explain it is to put words on paper. I can almost see the outline of the character who might show me how to say what I feel. She's very hazy too, but she's lurking in a corner of my mind...perhaps waiting for her chance to 'escape into the open.'