Wednesday, August 24, 2016

- What's in my head

Patch #237 Writing purple ...


I'm reading a book of essays (meditations actually), written after and in response to September 11, 2001 ...


I've never been a huge fan of Barbara Kingsolver's fiction (or anyone's fiction for that matter, with the exception of J.R.R. Tolkien ... who actually was strongly "influenced" (ahem) by various mythologies ... but I digress). Yes, well, I very much liked Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, so when Don spotted her Small Wonder in the used book store, I was all in.

So far I've read half of one essay, skipped over another, and enthusiastically read three or four more. There's much to like and I'm making note of quotes such as this one:

" ... writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper ... " 

Or blogs, as the case may be. I fortuitously discovered during my time at the Eastern Virginia Writing Project that my mind was very good at thinking up words to write, even when I was fast asleep. I came to trust the process, realizing that the words would wait to be written down, racketing around in my brain until I got around to it.

None of which has anything to do with "purple prose" except that I really wanted to make a purple patch. And write about writing. And how the only way I ever get the music to stop in my head (see yesterday's post), is to imagine the words I want to write ... purple or otherwise.

Yes, this is how my mind works. It's a crazy place.

And with all due respect (as she might not appreciate the comparison), I feel like Barbara Kingsolver is a kindred spirit with quotes that range from ...

"Political urgencies come and go, but it's a fair enough vocation to strike one match after another against dark isolation, when spectacular arrogance rules the day and tries to force hope into hiding."

to ...

"Mosquitoes, I have been told, are important pollinators in the Arctic. So good, they have their place in the grand scheme ... but it's taking me some time to get to that emotional plane where I can love a mosquito."

I can't wait to read the rest ...

2 comments:

Mo Crow said...

harumph re Barbara Kingsolver... the queen of the opening chapter, she has sucked me in several times, The Lacuna was the worst book I have ever read, a brilliant opening chapter then the most awful unrealistic tale of Mexico in the time of Frida Kahlo, undeveloped characters combined with a slegehammer approach to driving home her underlying parable (Margaret Atwood has been doing the same with her last 3 books sadlyy) anyway I threw The Lacuna against the wall unfinished with a bitter taste in my mouth and the same can be said for her Monarch butterfly book (it was so awful I have erased the title from my memory banks) so it's good to hear her essays are good. Enjoy your writing immensely & you're purple patch is superb!

Liz Ackert said...

What a great comment ... I'm chuckling as I imagine you throwing a book against a wall! As for the essays, they aren't all good (I've skipped over several already), but I'm primarily a non-fiction and memoir lover, so this fits the niche.

And thanks muchly ... every writer loves having readers (likewise, this stitcher loves having kindred spirits).