HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE A SHORT STORY, MEMOIR OR A NOVEL?
Isn’t this a wonderful picture?
I first saw this Normal Rockwell illustration, The Most Beloved American Writer, on Danielle’s blog, A Work in Progress. I knew I would eventually use it here on the Cutoff.
As I thought about this question, I wasn’t quite sure how to answer it. Of course I could just say “yes” and go on to the next question, but . . .
. . . I’ve had fun answering these questions posed by Sunday Taylor and have enjoyed your comments beyond measure. Even though there are aspects of this that leave me a little uncomfortable, I decided to sally forth and answer it as best I can.
So, with a little help from Mr. Rockwell’s picture, I will begin.
I love to put pen to paper, to play with words, and to tell a story, hoping I do it justice. I like writing almost as much as I like reading and, yes, I have fantasized about writing the next great American novel, but that is really just a fantasy. I know my strengths and I am keenly aware of my weaknesses. Let me say that writing a novel is not a strength I possess.
I would love to try my hand at a short story, and will, perhaps, attempt this in the future.
When I see this illustration, I see Jo March. Professor Bhaer’s words are drumming through her mind as he admonishes Jo to write about what she loves and what she knows about. She is offended, at first, by his advice. Then, as she grieves the loss of her sister Beth, her heart heavy with sorrow, she hears the professor’s words anew. What she knows is her family, her Laurie, her home. What she knows is her own story, which becomes the story of what Mr. March calls his “little women”.
I also see Louisa May Alcott. I see her at Orchard House in Concord, writing furiously to keep the wolf from the door. She penned Little Women, with a real pen and ink, in record time, using both her right and her left hand in turn, as each became cramped. Louisa May Alcott was a prolific writer who also wrote “pot boilers” of her era. I think she must have had a very active imagination, don’t you? I can just imagine the blog she would be writing if she were alive today.
As I looked at this picture, I thought about where I write and what happens when I do.
When I write, it is the stories of my family that flow from my heart. They bring me the greatest joy.
When I write, it the pleasures of my garden, of flowers and trees, of nature and reflections that come from my very soul. They bring me peace and they keep me centered.
When I write, it is of the books I read that move me, hoping my ramblings will inspire others in their reading selections.
What I would like to write is a memoir of sorts, though I feel a bit naked and exposed saying it here.
How about you?
I know many of you are accomplished writers. You have written stories and edited books. You have poetry and memoirs in print. You all write so thoughtfully here in your comments, on your blogs, or I am sure, in your journals and diaries and letters.
How would you answer this question?