Books and other acquired objects in our lives often hold memories of places, life’s better moments, dear friends, and loved ones. I’ve found the most lasting memories are those attached to things gifted to us by others.
My library shelves overflow with books—some found, many gifted, all treasured. They are an archive for my memories of travels with friends and loved ones and adventures big and small.
But books are not alone in the memory department.
I still have and use a large coffee cup given me many years ago by dear friends, one of whom has passed. But every time I pull that cup from the cupboard, I’m reminded of the gift of friendship and the good times we shared.
I have no way of knowing if compliments or a kind word I’ve given ever made a positive impact, or if my silly humor made someone smile when they were feeling down.
But I don’t really need to know, do I? I just need to know that I tried.
No doubt we are living through despairing times. Many writers, myself included, find it difficult to concentrate on writing with our minds focused sharply on current events.
One of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury, used writing as an escape. This quote by him is inspirational, even motivational.
Slogging along on a manuscript or other piece of writing? Taking longer to finish than you expected? Exhausted trying to complete that description, paragraph, sentence, scene, dialogue, or other story element? Mr. Leonard just might have been on to something when it comes to writing.
Elmore Leonard (October 11th, 1925 – August 20th, 2013) was a novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels were westerns but he didn’t limit his work to that genre. Among his best-known works are “Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight,” “Hombre,” “Mr. Majestyk,” “Rum Punch” (adapted as the film “Jackie Brown”), and short stories that became the films “3:10 to Yuma” and “The Tall T,” as well as the FX television series, “Justified.”
I don’t live in California but I do write and this post from Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware Blog with reference to an article from Authors Guild makes for interesting reading especially if you are an independent, free-lance writer.
This state law now requires companies to provide both protections and benefits for free-lance workers, including writers. As a result, many free-lance writers’ contracts have been terminated.
If you live in New York or New Jersey, be aware these two states are considering similar laws.
In some cases, this law also applies to book writers.
Take a moment and visit Victoria’s post to learn more.
I recently encountered this word I’d not seen or heard before, so I looked it up.
According to the folks at WorldWideWords:
“So what is the opposite of Serendip, a southern land of spice and warmth, lush greenery and hummingbirds, seawashed, sunbasted? Think of another world in the far north, barren, icebound, cold, a world of flint and stone. Call it Zembla. Ergo: zemblanity, the opposite of serendipity, the faculty of making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries by design. Serendipity and zemblanity: the twin poles of the axis around which we revolve…
Zemblanity hasn’t achieved mainstream status, though Mr Justice Michael Peart used it in a legal judgment in Ireland in 2012 and it has been borrowed as the title of a bit of madcap physical theatre, which was performed, for example, at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”
A longtime friend of mine and an avid reader, Greg Holley, sent me this excellent quote from Carl Sagan on the magic of both reading and writing so I thought I would share it here.
“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”