Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Harper Lee: Up Close

I'm really really enjoying the discussion of Kerry Madden's biography of Harper Lee over at the CCBC Discussion Board. True confessions- I have the book on reserve at my local library so haven't read it yet and am not going to jump in with a comment just yet. But Kerry is there, talking about her fascinating writing path and her amazing, original research. Loved today's note:
In very early drafts, I struggled a lot, and the first half of the book read almost a like blob of Harper Lee's childhood. I even stuck the "Methodist Rules for Singing" into an early draft, because I found them funny, but obviously they did not belong.

A favorite rule of John Wesley's Select Hymns from 1761 in regards to correctly singing hymns?

"Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all;
and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can."

Tuesday's CCBC email comment from English teacher Dean Schneider was particularly interesting (and included a quote I remember from a letter Harper Lee wrote to O Magazine in 2006):

"In the letter, she wrote of the comfort of curling up in bed with a book as a child. 'Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.'"

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