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Reading to Write

April 16, 2010

Michael Larson

 Night before last I went to Michael Larson’s blog again because he posts such valuable information to the writer that it begs to be read more than once.  I’d been working on my next novel, Pacheco Falls, (click on the link to read the first pages) for several hours  and I had just decided on a major change.  I needed a little break, so I wandered over to my blog and clicked on the link to his blog.   How many times can I use the word blog in a single paragraph?  I digress.  Thinking about the SFWC, which I can’t help do when I read Michael’s blog, is bittersweet.  Sweet because I learned so much and bitter because I still feel some embarrassment about the manuscript that I entered into the competition.  Each session that I attended relating to rewriting was speaking directly to me.  

My mind is like a determined school of fish.  It goes like hell in all directions and can turn on a dime.  I easily jumped from embarrassment back to Mr. Larson’s list and back to my novel in progress.  I got so excited when I realized that the story that I wanted to tell was behind a door in my mind that just swung open.  You see, I hadn’t been reading lately.  Novels have been my beloved friends for my whole life and I have been too busy for them, or so I thought.  But,  my love of reading would no longer tolerate the absence of my immediate affections and I had picked up a book just a few days earlier.  It is book called Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden.  The story  is told by Canadian Cree characters who live way up north.  I found the book, some nice person left it in a place where books are shared with others.  What are the chances that I would stumble on a novel which directly speaks to my very own strong connection to the outside world.  So when I read on the list about the importance of reading to keep your craft sharp, I could nod and say to myself, “yes, how right you are,” and feel it from the inside out. 

Wild Idaho

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen Williams permalink
    April 16, 2010 5:35 am

    It’s so interesting to see you re-engage with the intellectual aspects of your brain now that you have time for that. I don’t mean to suggest that everything that you have done in the last 20 years has not been intellectual. It’s just that raising children, etc., and all that that entails, does not leave a lot of room for purely intellectual pursuits. I don’t have children so my professional path is very intellectual and could not be obtained in my opinion with children. But when I first met you, you were very brainiac and I’m glad to see that you now have a bit of room to let your mind go again to places that will fulfill you in that realm. You go Julie!

  2. Barbara Montgomery permalink
    April 17, 2010 12:04 am

    Hi Julie,

    After I saw you at Asana I bookmarked your blog. I have been visiting it randomly every since then. I truly enjoy reading what you have to write. Keep it up! I see amazing things in your future.

    Thank you for being my friend.


  3. April 17, 2010 5:47 am

    Yeah Barbara! I was so hoping to hear from you. It was great seeing you at the Tea House and I would love to have you write about your experiences in Montana and how you came to your line of study. Let me know. ~Julie

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