I’m reading Curious? and Blink and Think and What Your Childhood Memories Say about You.Four very different books. There’s too much in them to summarize in this limited space, so I’ll write about each of them later.
LearningNobody tells beginners that when you have good taste, and you’re creating art, you’ll create a lot of work that falls short of what you want it to be.Glass: “It’s only by creating a volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap and the work you’re creating is going to be as good as your ambitions.”I’d better get busy.
When I was little, I loved to dress up as animals, especially a cat, dog, or pony. Mom would humor me by making ears and a tail for each animal. She’d cut the ears from felt and attach them to headbands, then use yarn or some old black material to stitch up something tail-like that satisfied me.I’d don the ears and safety pin the tail to a leotard, then proceed to crawl on all fours throughout the house, meowing or barking or whinnying until my knees were red and my voice was hoarse.One day, I was a parrot. I assume that Mom glued together some kind of tail by plucking feathers from an old feather duster; I don’t remember if she made a beak. What I do remember is sitting on the kitchen counter, perched near the sink, feeling the sun shining on my left cheek. Mom stood next to me, working, busily chopping vegetables for dinner or stirring together a casserole. I stuffed my hands up in my armpits to form wings and squawked “Polly want a cracker!” maybe 20 times. Each time, even though she was busy with meal preparations, Mom would stop what she was doing, break a saltine cracker apart, and pop bits of it in my mouth. My mouth was dry—the saliva soaked into cracker after cracker. Yet, I continued, because I had figured out a way to have my mom poke crackers in my mouth again and again, even though I was far too old to be fed.
Someone asked me just today, “So, what projects are you working on? Are you writing a book?”People ask me this a lot. It’s a natural question, since I’m an author. If I were meeting me for lunch, that would be one of the questions I’d ask.I’m sorry to report to you, just as I did to her, that I am not writing a book right now.I’d like to be writing a book right now, but I’m not.For now, I’m going to begin enjoying summer, because I am finally free from teaching and grading. I’m going to let my creativity meander, and as I read and think and pray, I do hope that a book idea will emerge.So I may not be writing a book, but I will be writing, because that Ira Glass video (see “Learning”) urges me to produce more. A lot more.
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