“Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning. Do not dictate to your author; try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice. If you hang back, and reserve and criticize at first, you are preventing yourself from getting the fullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible, then signs and hints of almost imperceptible fineness, from the twist and turn of the first sentences, will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other. Steep yourself in this, acquaint yourself with this and soon you will find that your author is giving you, or attempting to give you, something far more definite.”
THE FREE EXPLORING MIND
“And this I believe:
that the free,
of the individual human
is the most valuable thing
in the world.
And this I would fight for:
the freedom of the mind
to take any direction
And this I must fight against:
any idea, religion,
This is what I am
and what I am about.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Haiku Writing Challenge #63
Words: Stag & Noise
5 – 7 – 5
Whisper while spying
A soundless voice keeps secrets
Denounce what’s been caught
© jk 2015
*stag: v. give away information about somebody
(denounce – spy – grass – inquire secretly)
4 – 3 – 3
Roar lion roar
© jk 2015
In Memory of Cecil the Lion
A weekly Haiku writing prompt to inspire those who join along. It is like putting together a word puzzle carefully. It is enlightening. Meet new people. Discover a community who shares support. At the end of each challenge we hear from Ronovan on his interpretation of how we all succeed. Sometimes it’s a review with words of support and sometimes it’s a list of all the participants with LINKS to their Haiku. Oh, it is an awakening experience to read what others have created with the two words for each new weekly challenge. If you feel such inspiration. Go to the LINK Ronovan Writes Haiku… Join a growing community. It is exciting to look forward each Monday to the two new words and then figuring out how to mold them into a Haiku. – jk-tsk
“The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at the liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions — there we have none.”
Six Tips on Writing by John Steinbeck
Interview in Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.
1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
MAGIC IN STORY WRITING
“If there is a magic in story writing,
and I am convinced there is,
no one has ever been able
to reduce it to a recipe
that can be passed
from one person to another.
The formula seems to lie solely
in the aching urge of the writer
to convey something
he feels important
to the reader.
If the writer has that urge,
he may sometimes,
but by no means always,
find the way to do it.
You must perceive the excellence
that makes a good story good
or the errors that makes a bad story.
For a bad story
an ineffective story.”
— John Steinbeck
1963 after receiving
Nobel Peace Prize in Literature
Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 7]
But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.
And now, Anne Rice:
7 – Considering that Interview with the Vampire was repeatedly rejected by publishers, and if you wrote it now during such an upswing in self-publishing, do you think you would have considered doing it yourself?
I knew the night I finished “Interview with the Vampire,” that I’d publish it myself if no one else did. I wrote that in my diary at about 4 a.m. that morning —- that if no one else wanted it, I’d have it printed and bound, and sell copies out of a shopping bag. There was a poet in those days who sold her books that way on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. And I knew I’d do that if I had to. But in truth, I never really had to worry. “Interview” was accepted after five rejections. That’s not many. And I was so blessed. Knopf, one of the most prestigious publishers in New York, bought it and there began my long creative romance with my editor Vicky Wilson. Knopf is publishing “Prince Lestat” and Vicky is still my editor. —- But yes, I would have published IWTV on my own. Most certainly. I’ve always had, for better or for worse, a lot of self-confidence. Low self-esteem, cosmic fear, yes, but a lot of stubborn self- confidence. I was thirty-four when I wrote IWTV; I was committed; I’d been through all those adolescent and college girl doubts. I knew I was a writer and I did not intend to let anyone stop me from getting my work out to the world. —— In fact, I knew that was all I was. I’d lost a daughter so I was no longer a mother. I had no job, no real skills, no career, had never taught college or high school, etc. But I was a writer… a crazy, stubborn writer. That’s what I knew, all I knew. And I did have another priceless advantage. My husband, Stan, who was a recognized poet, an admired poet, and a college professor and did bring home the bacon and did cover the medical insurance and all that —- he believed in me, believed in what I was doing, and was there every minute confirming for me what I believed about myself. We’d been married for 14 years. He knew I was crazy but he knew there was something to what I wrote in my pure craziness. It might have been a hell of a lot harder if I had not had his faith and patience and love. And I believed in him creatively too, so when he said he thought the work was great, I listened. ——-