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

Friday, March 28, 2014

STILL WRITING by Dani Shapiro

Do you collect every inspirational writing book, every craft book, every This is How to Do It book about creating novels?

I almost do.


This is a new one I may have to add to my collection. My friend Barbara O'Connor first mentioned Dani Shapiro's book, and of course I reserved it that very day from my library. Weeks ago. It finally arrived.
I checked it out yesterday and opened it right up. Already I love it.

I love the idea of writers as eavesdroppers, always have. Eudora Welty's quote about "Now talk!" cracks me up.  The one about listening to grown people, how she would sit between two people in the car as they set off for a Sunday afternoon ride and say, "Now talk."

I always assumed it was mostly Southerners who loved to eavesdrop. (And Southern writers most of all!)

And here's Dani Shapiro, raised in New Jersey, talking about that very thing:

"...I spent my childhood straining to hear. With no siblings to distract me, I had plenty of time, and eavesdropped and snooped in every way I could devise. I lurked outside doorways, crouched on staircase landings. I fiddled with the intercom system in our house, attempting to tune in to rooms where one or both of my parents might be... I didn't know that this spying was the beginning of my literary education. That the need to know, to discover, to peel away the surface was a training ground for who and what I would grow up to become."

Shapiro also has a lot to say about modern-day distractions. The internet, of course.
So now I'll take her advice, move away from my computer, and read, then write.


Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Ooh, thanks for the book recommendation, dear! I hadn't heard of it before. Sounds like us writers have much in common. I eavesdropped a lot as a kid and often preferred sitting in the living room listening to the grownups talk. :-)

Augusta Scattergood said...

I'm working on a presentation now for an event in Palm Beach, FL next weekend. I totally plan to work in the eavesdropping thing! Yes, our characters are based on what we've heard, or overheard. But memory is a fickle thing, so we must make up a lot, right?!