Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Inspirational Quotes on Writing

I greatly enjoyed reading the special January 2010 90th anniversary issue of Writer's Digest today. I don't envy the people who had to cull through 90 years of magazines to find the best quotes on writing, but they came up with some good ones. Here is just a sampling:

Sometimes the words do flow. Sometimes they don't. Write them either way. - Mary E. Demuth (This is actually from a new article in the issue, but I think that this advice ranks right up there!)

Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don't forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth. - Paula Danziger

There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write. - Natalie Goldberg

Don't quit. It's very easy to quit during the first 10 years. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it's very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can't get fired if you don't write, and most of the time you don't get rewarded if you do. But don't quit. - Andre Dubus

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review: Emily's Hope

by Ellen Gable
Pakenham, Ontario: Full Quiver Publishing
"Emily's Hope" is an interesting novel, connecting the lives of a great-grandmother living at the turn of the century and a great-granddaughter growing up in the 1970s. Gable contrasts the sexual choices that they make and their openness toward life. Katherine is an unhappily married woman who seeks out sexual partners, has several back-alley abortions, and is an early adopter of birth control. She also tries to help other women who seek out this information, even though she risks prosecution from the police. Emily, growing up in the modern era, starts out thinking premarital sex and birth control are fine, until her boyfriend and future husband is adamantly against them. He convinces her of the error of her ways. They choose Natural Family Planning and struggle with ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage, but go on to have five beautiful children.

This book isn't for everyone. The main purpose of it is to educate people about the Church's teaching on NFP and marriage. Perhaps it can open some eyes to the reasons for this teaching. Mainly, it made me very thankful for the gift of today's NFP. I felt badly for the women who sought out Katherine's help - women who had given birth several times during a short period of time, who were exhausted, impoverished, and abused by their husbands. While the choices they made weren't right, they were understandable. Those women were desperate. I'm so glad that we have reliable Natural Family Planning today. While many people reject it, the Church's teaching is designed to help couples and marriages to be life-giving and provide for responsible parenthood. I do wish more people could see that. Gable is to be commended for treating this difficult topic in "Emily's Hope."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mitch Albom Explains the Art of Storytelling

Every writer wants to be a great storyteller - to engage their audience and leave them wanting more. Mitch Albom is truly one of the masters of this art. On the "Writer's Digest" website, there is an interview with him where he explains this very important art:

Mitch Albom on the art of Storytelling