Book Photo Challenge #10 - Currently Reading
I'm currently reading several things: the new Rat Queens comic series, which is full of bloody battles and strong women, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, which is teaching me volumes about dealing with inner struggles, and The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin, Book 3 in the Earthsea Cycle. Patrick and I are reading the cycle together.
I have also been slowly rereading my favorite book on writing: Natalie Goldberg's classic Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. I love my copy because it's very small, fitting easily in the palm of my hand and in my pocket; perfect for toting along in my purse, which I did for months after I first bought it.
Writing Down the Bones is gently persuasive and quietly determined to steer you towards a regular writing practice. She reminds you that we all want so much to tell our stories, that we are starving with the want of it, and that it is a vital and important thing to get started and to keep going.
But it is so much more than that. This is a book about observing and loving the little things around us. It is a life philosophy and a zen meditation in written form. I devoured Writing Down the Bones my first time through ten years ago. This time I am reading it in tiny increments, sometimes just a page a day with time in between to contemplate its simple joy, and it's perfect that way.
A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a café when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.
NaBloPoMo March - Day 11