Thursday, January 27, 2011

Craft Book of the Month: January 2011 "Take Joy"

So, I was sitting reading through Take Joy by Jane Yolen. Had my orange hi-liter to hand and... has this ever happened to you? By the time I was done highlighting lines that spoke to me either profoundly or humorously, my pages looked like they were playing for Oregon State, (Go, Beavers!)

(Side note here. As a non-native Oregonian I am an equal opportunity supporter. So, had I been using my green highlighter, the pages would have been Ducks.)

In short, I could pretty much copy the entire book into this blog, but that would be eyestrain for you and copyright infingement for me. So... let me just shoot out a few of Jane Yolen's marvelous sentences before we say goodbye to her inspirational book.

  • Writing teachers speak of "finding your voice as if the damned thing is lost somewhere: behind the desk, under the computer, in back of the commode." (pg. 79)
  • Often I feel as if my writing time is being slowly nibbled away by ducks. (pg. 95--not the Oregon ones, I hope.)
  • Writing is not always done on the page. Often I think about a book for years, and that thinking is rarely done at my desk. (pg. 109)
  • Landscape should enhance the story being told... Too many writers ignore landscape, to their peril. (She goes on to describe how landscape happens in threes: the large shapes, the singular features, the individualized--"spikes of yew, eruptions of red poppies.) (pg. 145)
  • Chapter 11--the Alphabetics of Story--is worth the price of admission by itself (starts on pg. 159) My favorite is "P is for Process: value the process, not the product."
The book ends like this:
Don't forget to smell the grandbabies
Pay attention to good food.
Lie down on your stomach in the tall grass.
Listen to the rhythm of ocean waves.
Put your hand on graven stone. Finger silk. Touch a loved one's hair.
Breathe in the world.
Thank you, Jane Yolen.

1 comment:

  1. man I better head to page 145....I need that one
    I will get this book for certain
    thanks Michael and happy writing


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