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Monday, January 8, 2007

Conception and birth

No, this is not a comment on that highly politicized subject of when life begins. I am talking about an altogether different kind of giving birth--to a story. At this very earliest of stages, there is no story yet and no guarantee that there ever will be one. It is more like flirting in a bar. I'm there with a character or two, our eyes meet, and I wonder, Who are they? What is their story? Will I get to find out? And, on a long and possibly tortuous (and torturous) journey of meeting and dating, we just may get to the point of conceiving a new book.

Or not.

There may be a faster, better, more efficient way of getting through this process, but I can only trust that the way that's worked for me in the past will work again.

Reading: The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton
"Let me tell you, scholar, that Diogenes walked on a day, with his friend, to see a country fair; where he saw ribbons, and looking-glasses, and nut-crackers, and fiddles, and hobby-horses, and many other gimcracks; and, having observed them and all the other finnimbruns that make a complete country fair, he said to his friend, 'Lord, how many things are there in this world of which Diogenes hath no need?'"


Poets & Writers magazine

The mystery novelist Anne Perry reminds us to write not what we know, but what we care about. We can always find out what we don't know, but if we don't care, how can we make anyone else?

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