Thursday, September 23, 2010

Legos and Writing

The kids have hit a bit of a hitch in their playing together this last month. With school starting and the issues that came up with that, plus Mr. T giving up his nap (which makes him a crying mess from about 4 on) they just haven't found many ways to play together happily. However, come this week, enter the Legos. They both have their own little sets but are also able and willing to play with them together. This has been a huge relief for me and I think for them as well.

On another note, tonight I went to hear Margaret Atwood and Ursula LeGuin speak and it was, of course, an amazing experience. They are both these tiny little old women, both dwarfed on stage sitting in huge chairs, but the intellect and spirit and strength encapsulated in those bodies is awe-inspiring. They both talked about the process of writing and here are a few things I came away with:

1) Yes, you can make a chart of your plot and list out how the whole piece will be written before you write it. However, most authors don't do that and it doesn't create fun or great works. Virginia Woolf described the process of writing as going into a dark room with a lamp and the lamp shows you what was there all along. I was interested to hear that when both these women start books, they don't necessarily know how they are going to end or how they are going to get to the ending. They just start with a vague idea and the art is created from there. Beautiful.

2) You have to find space to let ideas come to you. Uncluttered brain space. This also resonates of Virginia Wolf's lovely quote "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." It is so hard, especially with small children and a family to find uncluttered brain space. I am constantly trying to keep together the little details of our lives and it leaves little room for creativity. I find that in the shower or in bed at night before I go to sleep is where I have space for creativity and find myself jotting little notes then.

And they said about a thousand other wonderful things. It was just a delightful and inspiring evening that came at a time when I really needed it.

1 comment:

  1. jealous. I'm just sayin'... wish I'd been there! I'm presently reading a wonderful book about authors/dreams. I will finish it and bring it to you. Fascinating.