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discovering writers

I do not remember a summer with as many sweet days in a row as this one. Mild, warm with that hint of hot – peach weather. Corn weather. Perfect.

I was biking home from Parliament Street an hour ago when I passed a huge mirror that someone had left on the street. Luckily, my roofer and his son had just come down for lunch, and now there’s a giant mirror in my dining room. I can see myself from every angle. Perhaps not such a good thing, but the light it reflects is great.

Then I finished Jo Ann Beard’s “The boys of my youth,” which is a novel-like collection of autobiographical stories, and is superb. It was a library book, but I will buy my own copy. On the cover, a writer is quoted as saying that when he’s asked what creative non-fiction is, he says, This. I agree.

There’s a great quote from Tony Kushner in the “Globe” today, in connection with his “Angels in America.” It sounds like Soulpepper has done a fantastic job with their new production, rave reviews all round. Anyway, I talk to my students about trying to write first drafts longhand. Tony Kushner affirms this, saying:

You know, writing is scary. I write a lot by hand, I don’t even put it on the computer, because it preserves the fantasy that it’s really just for you, and you don’t have to show it to anybody. The minute it goes on the computer, it begins to look like a finished script, and I think that privacy, the ability – not the ability, the right to screw up and do a bad job, and write a terrible line or a really terrible scene, is an essential freedom, it’s an essential privilege of being a writer.  

I agree.

And … I discovered Neil Gaiman yesterday. Loved Coraline, which I only discovered recently, and even more recently watched the animated version on TV; I’m on the list at the library for Gaiman’s new “The Ocean at the end of the Lane” – something like 578th in line. Yesterday I heard him interviewed by Jian’s replacement on the CBC – what an interesting fine guy – went on one of those literary websites I was blogging about to read about him and then went to his website. He’s not only very interesting, he’s adorable. And then I found out that he was in Toronto just a few days ago! Speaking to a completely sold out theatre.

And today I read in the “Globe” about the fantastic Woody Point writer’s festival in Newfoundland, where there’s lots of music and someone danced all night with Michael Ondaatje. I feel like Cinderella. Time to finish my memoir and go to writer’s festivals and dance all night with Neil Gaiman. But if he’s not there, Michael Ondaatje will do fine.



2 Responses to “discovering writers”

  1. Penny says:

    Hello Beth – Just catching up with your life and glad to find I'm in time for a trip to Mexico with you. Bon voyage!

  2. Beth says:

    Si, mi amiga, happy to have you join me for another trip!

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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