BEYOND THE SECRET DOOR
If you could look into the life of a writer at work, beyond the door to their studio or office and into their heads, what do think you would see? I don’t really know but I wonder. If you could look into my mind today, you’d see some very happy, fast racing thoughts; thoughts of success and pride, imagination running away with itself, of opportunity and hope of making connections. Today after a poor week I sat down and wrote, and wrote and wrote. My fingers on the keyboard had wings, the words flowed out to the noisy clack of my old keyboard and I smiled within. Allow me to share some numbers I’m fond of just now, number 3, for three chapters completed, and 10,300 for words written. That sounds like a lot but it’s only just over 1/8 of the total. Numbers don’t really matter but they’re my breadcrumbs on the trail, leading me home. Where is home? Home is when I can stop, the story well told and earn a little rest.
Today in a bid for freedom from responsibility and circumstance, I detoured to the charity store. I really love the charity store; not because proceeds made go to worthy causes (that’s good of course), nor because things are relatively inexpensive (also good) but primarily because of the quirky, bizarre, wonderful variety of goods one can find there. You think I’m going to tell you about just such a purchase and I’m sorry to disappoint you. I did find two very good books that promise to be interesting reads - one is called, “Mockingbird, A Portrait of Harper Lee,” and the other is titled, “Sway, The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behaviour.” Of the second book, I was drawn to it for these words on the back, “A fascinating journey into the hidden psychological forces that cause us to act irrationally in our personal and professional lives.” Being one who has acted at times in a way others find irrational, I am gratified to discover there may be answers. Actually, I like being irrational now and again, it keeps others on their toes and certainly makes life interesting. As for the first book, I am intrigued by the life of the reclusive Harper Lee, famous for her novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” As with all first novels, it’s heavily biographical and her Father was said to be a considerable influence in her formation of the Atticus character. Lee’s Father was an editor, lawyer and also a senator and she studied law likewise, abandoning her studies just six months before qualifiying. Instead she went to New York to pursue a writing career, working with Truman Capote as a research assistant on his notorious book, “In Cold Blood.” A friend offered to support her with her writing and she created the first draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” to be her only book. She did get part way through another book, “The Long Goodbye,” but never finished it. Asked much later in life why she didn’t write any more, she gave the following response, “Two reasons: one, I wouldn’t go through the pressure and publicity I went through with “To Kill a Mockingbird” for any amount of money. Second, I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again.” Now I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say too.
(Additional information from Wikipedia and “Mockingbird,” by Charles J Shields)