Golden thoughts for my golden dog.

Golden thoughts for my golden dog.

It sounds dramatic to say, “I’m no stranger to death.”  I mean, melodramatic.  Instead I’ll say, “I’m no stranger to grief.”  (I just remembered/realized that Jesus was “acquainted with grief . . .”) Sometimes I say I don’t grieve well and other times I say it’s one of my accomplishments.  The fact is, when someone I love dies I take it hard and I take it long.

Remember that movie A Beautiful Mind?  The Russell Crowe character figured out when he was hallucinating because the little girl never grew up.  It is similar for me.  I can tell I’m in grief-induced depression because I can’t tell how my words affect others and I take things wrong.  I’m ignorant and delusional, I guess.

I’m hoping to wake up one day and feel OK again.  In the meantime, I’m rewriting parts of my book wherein my Main Character has experienced a significant loss.  In addition to having researched the stages of grief for her, I am observing them in myself.  And I’m able to give an accurate, non-objective flavor to her grieving.

And I gotta admit, it kind of tickles me to write in little scenes I never thought of before.

Olive's OceanWhile I work on writing my own middle grade fiction book, I have a chance to review some of my favorites in the same category.

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes is one of my favorites.  I love the cover, particularly the colors, and I love the story.

I look forward to reading it again.

 

Of course, I should be writing right now, but I consider reading as necessary research.

On Friday (15 March) evening I attended a class at the Provo library called “Critique 101.”  It helped aspiring writers learn how to conduct, and comport themselves at, a critique session.  (I used the words “comport themselves” because it came up at church today and the lady who mentioned it [read it from the manual] didn’t seem to know what it meant.)

I may speak more about the class, but I want to address a statement I heard the teacher, Carol Lynch Williams, make.  Keep in mind that I was taking notes and there was a lot going on around me, so I didn’t quite catch everything she said and may have misunderstood what I did hear.

Sometimes writers have the impression that their work was sent to them from God.  They may feel inspired to write exactly what they wrote, then feel reluctant to change any of it because they don’t wish to offend their divine source, or they feel it arrived in perfect condition and they must not mess with it.

Here’s what I think Carol Lynch Williams said about that, “God doesn’t write that badly.”

I’ve been pondering that idea for a few days.

I do believe we are inspired to write things.  I’ve felt so myself.  But I think that because we are not writing scripture, God, in effect, gives us some raw material and expects us to improve it.  In the parable of the talents, in the book of Luke, each servant is given one talent.  Most of them improve their talent, but the one who doesn’t gets in big trouble.