Wednesday, June 29

On Writing Fiction

I was just rereading an old interview with Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona books and a whole bookshelf of others. Her answer to one question about how she approaches writing caught my attention.

I don’t believe that outlining works for fiction because if you have it all worked out, it becomes boring. So I just write. I really enjoy revising more than writing. I love to cross things out and cut a page down to one paragraph ... I know I wouldn’t want to see anything published as I wrote it initially because it changes so much in the writing. I revise until a little light bulb clicks off and I know it’s done. I just know when it feels right. My first editor told me I was an intuitive writer. I hadn’t really thought about myself that way, but I guess she was right.

Read the whole interview here.

Sunday, June 26

The Bitter and the Sweet

Today marks two anniversaries in my life. One makes me smile, the other has been the cause of many, many tears.

Nineteen years ago today my mother died. She'd been battling cancer, but just a few weeks earlier she'd been given a clean bill of health. Then, suddenly, she was gone.

Fast forward 11 years. I was having a tough day. Memories of my mom were hitting hard and I spent most of my day feeling a bit weepy. I'd been dating Adam for only a few weeks, but he'd remembered this day was important to me.

When he came to pick me up from the VBS program where I was volunteering, he handed me a card. I don't recall exactly what he wrote, something about knowing how much it hurts to lose someone you love.

Then he told me he loved me for the first time. I was so surprised that I completely forgot to say it back to him.

While the sorrow of losing my mom will never completely go away, it's been really nice to have a happy anniversary to celebrate on this day, too.

Thank you, Adam, for bringing a smile to my face, even on some of the hardest days. I don't tell you nearly enough how much I love you.