Blood, Pain, and Encouragement - rhcrayon: The Blog!
Jun. 13th, 2013
01:39 pm - Blood, Pain, and Encouragement
The lovely Edith Cohn (check out her Web site! I took that author photo!) just sent our writing group this PW interview with Laura Amy Schlitz on Ms. Schlitz's writing and research process for Splendors and Glooms, which won a 2013 Newbery Honor, as a way to encourage me specifically. Here are some of my favorite quotes from it:
"I just couldn’t get this book under control. It was like a marathon. A blood-stained marathon."
"I’d write 10 chapters about three characters but those chapters left two other characters out in the cold. I’d run myself into a dead alley and I’d have to tear them up. I felt so stupid."
"I love making up characters. I could make up characters till the cows came home. Plot’s what hard. Very hard. . . . [I]t nearly killed me."
And I love this quote from the interview's end:
Would you rather be writing fulltime?
No, I wouldn’t give up the children. They are an inspiration to me.
Of course, as I continued reading that last paragraph it hit me that Ms. Schlitz was referring to her job as a school librarian, not children's she had. It was so much funnier when I thought she meant her biological children! And I was relieved when I thought she meant that. I guess the secret's out now: I'm pregnant. So the idea of juggling new parenthood with writing has been on my mind a lot.
I'll end this post with another image that's been on my mind: My husband and I recently took a Childbirth Preparation Class, and I wanted so badly to take a picture and post it on Facebook, labeled "Childbirth Preparation Class." I couldn't—because we were sitting in a small group in a tiny little room facing each other and had to stay poker-faced. But the woman had wheeled in a whiteboard, and the only words written on it, in all caps, were,
I wanted to laugh hysterically. The reason she had written these words was that she wanted to talk about these ideas and demystify them. It was meant to be reassuring. But that was the dominant visual the whole time. She had even written TRUST and circled it earlier but erased that to write these. (I have no idea why she wrote TRUST. I've forgotten.)
Anyway, you should read the whole PW interview with Laura Amy Schlitz. Her talking about blood and pain is encouraging. I love, love, love Ms. Schlitz's A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama and can't wait to check out Splendors and Glooms. I can't believe I haven't read it already!
A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
View all my reviews on GoodReads