Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lifting LIFT

When my friend Rebecca O'Connor's memoir, LIFT, came out last year, I meant to invite her to do a Q&A on this blog. LIFT is an amazing, honest, powerful book about her life as a falconer, and I wanted to let everyone know about it. But life, as you know, has a tendency to run off the rails, and much to my chagrin, I never got around to the interview or a post. When I read Rebecca's beautiful, passionate blog post today about her rocky journey toward (and through) publishing, I knew I had to share it and to urge all of you to buy her book. Her post and the link to the Dear Sugar column she includes within it are among the most galvanizing, inspiring--and realistic--pieces about writing I've read in a long while. It reminded me, too, how important it is for writers--and friends--to support one another.

My blurb for her book reads "Rebecca K. O’Connor writes that falconry is a religion; she has found a new and true believer in this vegetarian soul. I love how she explores both the pain and majesty of the natural world and the pain and majesty of a woman’s heart. Lift is a thrilling, moving read." Read it for yourself--you will be changed and amazed.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Happy National Novel Writing Month to those of you partaking in this crazy writing adventure! I am not jumping in myself this year, but I recently unearthed the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 8 years ago, The Book of Live Wires, and was shocked to discover it has some real life in it. I honestly thought that I had written it just for myself, just to get back into my own creative flow. I honestly thought that it was an incoherent mess, that it was not anything I'd ever consider sharing with the world. Now I have enough distance to see it has some real juice. It needs work, of course, but there are passages that may be among the strongest I've written. I'm floored. My beloved first reader, Laraine is looking at it now, as is my agent. I am so eager to get their notes and see whether the story might have some potential.

The Book of Live Wires is a sequel, of sorts, to The Book of Dead Birds--perhaps it is technically more of a spin off or a follow up, since it is narrated by Darryl, not Ava. It's wild to see how much resonance the story has with my own life today--Darryl and Ava have a baby, so there's that connection, plus Darryl is still dealing with the loss of his first wife, so grief plays a major role in the story. I had not experienced much grief when I wrote the draft, and in reading it now am surprised by how much my writing about loss rings true. Again, a reminder of how we know more than we know we know when we write.

I'll keep you posted. In the meanwhile, may all of you NaNoWriMo-ers have swift fingers and wild hearts (and, most importantly, have a lot of fun!)