A Writer's Moment: 'Writing, Publishing - two separate things' : “I always tell students that writing a poem and publishing i...
A Writer's Moment: 'Companions in One's Life' : “Man was very fortunate to have invented the book. Without it, the past w...
A Writer's Moment: Learning Through Experience : “The world is the true classroom. The most rewarding and important type of learning is...
“I envy those writers who outline their novels, who know where they’re going, but I find writing is a process of discovery.” – Jay McIner...
A Writer's Moment: Making Reading Fun : “Kids enjoy laughing and are seldom bored when they find something funny. They also ask questi...
“I think a lot of people can write poems that are howls of anguish. I think I've probably written such things and th...
Friday, June 30, 2023
put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word
idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We,
picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and reduce it
to 20.” – Eric Carle
As a journalist I was told time and again to “write tight.” In other words, say everything you can about a topic so that it is crystal clear in as few words as possible, because publication space is always at a premium. Writing as journalists might be good training for children’s book writers. But if I were an editor I’d be asking someone like Carle about the best way to write tight, because he was an expert at it for over 50 years. Of course his wonderful artwork didn’t hurt either.
Born in Syracuse, NY on June 25, 1929 Carle was the author of mega-sellers like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Carle said he always attempted to make his books both entertaining and educational – offering young readers (and often their parents) opportunities to learn something about the world. He also advised writers wanting to work in the children’s literary genre’ to “recognize children’s feelings, inquisitiveness and creativity.”
Carle, who was named for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his career contribution to American children’s literature shortly before his death in 2021, said, “We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long. I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important.”
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
“Reason is a fine thing, but it is not the only thing available to a writer. It's just part of the arsenal of many things available to a storyteller.” – Mark Helprin
Born on this date in 1947, Helprin is a novelist, journalist, scholar and conservative commentator stating that he "belongs to no literary school, movement, tendency, or trend.”
The child of two artists – his father was a well-known film industry leader and his mother a stage actress – Helprin was born in Manhattan, studied at Harvard and Princeton, and simultaneously became a statesman and writer with his non-fiction conservative commentary often called "biting." On the “creative” side, he has won numerous awards, particularly for his novel Winter’s Tale.
About writing, he has said, “We create nothing
new—no one has ever imagined a new color—so what you are doing is
revitalizing. You are remembering, then
combining, altering. Artists who think they're creating new worlds are simply
creating tiny versions of this world."
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Monday, June 26, 2023
Saturday, June 24, 2023
I am accused
i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands. i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother's itch
took it to breast
and named it
she is more human now,
learning languages everyday,
remembering faces, names and dates.
when she is strong enough to travel
on her own, beware, she will.
Friday, June 23, 2023
“Language is a living thing. We can feel it changing. Parts of it become old: they drop off and are forgotten. New pieces bud out, spread into leaves, and become big branches, proliferating.” – Gilbert Highet
A classicist and literary historian, Highet was born in Scotland in June of 1912 and emigrated to the U.S. with his wife – the great writer Helen MacInnes – in 1938.
The longtime head of the Greek and Latin Department at Columbia University, he wrote numerous essays and books, hosted a radio program, and served as a judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club and on the editorial board of Horizon magazine.
But he liked teaching best, and won numerous awards and accolades for his classroom work. "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living,” he said. “You can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning." His 1976 book The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning provides an amazing look at this great teacher’s style.
“(Books) are not just lumps of lifeless paper,” he said, “but minds alive on the shelves.”
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Friday, June 16, 2023
Sunday, June 11, 2023
“Even if I never sold another book, I'd keep writing, because the stories are here, in my head. Stories that just need to be told,” she said. “I love watching a plot unfold, and feeling the surprise when the unexpected happens.”
Saturday, June 10, 2023
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Thursday, June 1, 2023
“Someday is not a day of the week.” -- Janet Dailey
Born in May 1944, Dailey said “waiting for someday” was not an option if she was going to fulfill her lifelong dream to actually BE a writer.