“We are writing survival manuals masquerading as entertainment.”
“A story is an epiphany acted upon, a world you can hold in your hands — one with a coherent shape to offset the chaos in the lives of your readers.”
A true story: After spending all day at my desk, I decided to hop into New York for a workshop. It was sold out, but I always have good luck as a standby, so I decided to chance it and even snagged a front- row seat. The presenter? Richard Peck, a beloved children’s writer with a Newbery Award and many others to his credit. A prolific author of more than 40 books, he spoke about voice and first lines (“The first line needs to be a grenade with the pin already pulled.”), and about his writing process. Somewhere along the way, he mentioned that he came to New York City to teach at Hunter High School.
I nearly fell off my seat! Richard Peck was Mr. Peck, my high-school English teacher! He was also advisor to our newspaper What’s What when I was editor. I still remember having an editorial meeting at his beautiful apartment in Brooklyn Heights.
After the Q&A, I introduced myself and we chatted. He was as thunderstruck as I was to find me in his audience. He gave me his email and I definitely plan to contact him. What a gift it would be to have someone with all his experience give me some guidance!
All of which goes to show that listening to your intuition is always a good idea when it comes to your writing. This event was sold out and I could have easily passed it by and stayed at home. But something told me to go, so I did — and had the chance to learn from a seasoned pro who generously shared his experience and insights about writing, which I will definitely share with all of you in a future post. But for now, I’m just mind-boggled by the way the universe works. Mind-boggled — what a great word, isn’t it? Write on!