Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Writing

"A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it." -William Styron, novelist (1925-2006)

This quote came across Anu Garg's A Word A Day blog today. For me, this is how I define "a favorite" tome. Often, I will read a book and conclude the author has strong writing skills. However, I don't always connect. Can any of you relate?

I read another article today in Writer's Digest written by Steve Almond. He argues that the best writers reveal their love through ALL of their characters...even those posed with defects and non-redeemable qualities. It was a brilliant article aimed to aspiring writers. He ends his essay by stating, "Your highest calling is not to sell books or get famous, but to awaken mercy within your readers. That only happens when you treat your characters with the same unconditional love."

Well-said Mr. Almond. I wonder if this works on real life as well...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Headache Strikes Again

Have any of you read Virginia Woolf's essay, "On Being Ill"? Woolf begins this brilliant run-on sentence of an essay by stating, "Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to light..."

I've been feeling quite centered lately, focusing on prayer and meditation. Then last night, I wake up at 3:00 AM with my head throbbing. My second dose of Maxalt hardly brought any relief. I'm a bit more among the living now and it occurred to me how the pain didn't make me feel closer to God. I imagine He's not to proud of my attitude right now. Full of self-pity, lacking a charitable conscience and downright growly.

But Woolf's essay did come to my mind. She unequivocally hits illness on the head, and btw, poses an interesting question as to why illness hasn't been prodded and portrayed as much as love in literature? Well, it's not near as fun or compelling, but it's certainly as affective on your soul...

Next time you're bit under the weather, find her essay. You'll find a small amount of comfort in knowing others have felt as bad as you.

Now, I need to attempt to get centered.