Technical writers or non fiction writers scribble to pay the bills and for the love of the analytical or the exercise of truth or deception.

Fiction authors write to illuminate their world or escape it.

Whichever kind of writer, it's all about staying alive and helping or entertaining others.

The Writing Life

Like most writers, I have a love of reading and the power of words. When I was younger, I read everything I could get my hands on, but I don’t consider myself well read. I consumed books like a starved person, so quickly I hardly knew what I had read. By some strange process of osmosis, I learned from everything I read, but I cannot give you an erudite discussion of characters, plots, or authors. I can only tell you it’s lodged some where in the core of my being and informs my writing.

In addition to reading, I’ve spent a life time writing---from that first elementary school composition to my college days when I studied French literature and wrote explications de texte. Along the way, I fell into technical writing--to put food on the table and pay bills. In the 90s, I had the good fortune to take a dialog class with Sol Stein, former owner of Stein & Day publishers in New York and a prolific author. That led to his California-based writers’ group, Chapter One. It was a rigorous, ego-bruising experience, but I was intent on learning everything I could about fiction writing. A few years ago, I also had the good fortune to study with another writer, Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. She provided a different perspective and balance to my writing.

My novel, DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK, a mainstream, Sixties era novel, is available on Amazon in print and ebook (also available in Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil). Download a free sample. If you like it, I hope you'll download the book and post a review on Amazon.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Child

The topic for this month's Write...Edit...Publish blog is seeing through a child's eyes. Drop by and share your prose, poem or photos/art on the topic. The following monologue is from the point of view of a character named Mattie. I am gradually recovering from my time-consuming projects and getting back into a writing groove. Still haven't fully recovered my sanity, but working on it. I hope you enjoy this piece.

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My name is Mattie Moore and I am 96 years young. There is nothing extraordinary about me. I have always been just plain Mattie from my first memories of myself. There is no difference between Mattie at two years and me, Mattie, now.

I might have learned some things along the way, but the essential me is immutable. I look at the world with the same eyes and I can tell no difference between me as a child, a young girl, or an old woman. I just am.

Sometimes I wonder if the essential Mattie will be changed by age, disease, or unfortunate circumstances. I keep a watchful eye on my neighbors, friends, and family. Many of them change. When their bodies and minds fail them or tragedy strikes, they become afraid and angry. They lose the ability to see themselves through the eyes of their child self. They lose their innocence and wonder.

My first memory in life is lying in my crib and being fascinated by the shadows and moonlight playing across my bedroom walls. That mysterious moon.

My second memory is standing at the top of a very steep stairwell and willing myself to flutter to the bottom like a bird, unhurt and in awe of the power of flight.

My third memory is of falling out of a doll carriage and striking my head on the floor. On my hands and knees I calmly called for my mother to come see as I stared at the red, magical pool of my own blood. A hysterical mother. A hurried visit to the doctor. A cold scissor on my forehead snipping the thread of a final stitch on my forehead. A promise to my father that I would never do such a foolish thing again.

I begin and end with the mysterious moon, wonder, and the blood of my own mortality. I am simply Mattie and as long as I can hold on to these memories, I will see the world through the eyes of a child and my original, immutable self, no matter where I am in space and time.

8 comments:

  1. Linda, this is delightful and true. It is wonderful to read this monologue and think about aging and how different or the same we may be. To never lost the wonder is magical.

    Thank you for being an enthusiastic supporter of WEP. I look forward to your entries each month.

    I have posted about Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird on my writing blog if you'd like to visit...

    Denise

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  2. Beautiful! We do age from the outside in and sometimes so slowly that the inside is years behind the outside. Reading this, I was somehow reminded of the close connects grandparents and grandchildren share.
    Best wishes
    Nilanjana.

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  3. Never lose the wonder. Great advice, and something we forget too soon when we must shoulder the responsibilities of being an adult.

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  4. I like how this post is almost going backwards in the theme, through the eyes of a child. Because she still feels the child within her, that she is still that child. I hope I never lose that child within me either. Sometimes she goes missing, but I always find her. Thanks for sharing...

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  5. Remembering the child within even at a grand age is a lovely memoir, evocative and thought provoking piece.

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  6. I guess inside every adult there is a heart of a child. We just gradually convince ourselves that we have to act more like adults.

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