This is a random post. On love. And writing. And all the things happening in my life right now. Beautiful things. Not so beautiful things.
Tonight I will be on a stage. On a big stage. The stage in Town Hall in Seattle. The stage where I saw writers like Tom Robbins read. A while ago I couldn't imagine it happening. And now it will. I'm Amanda Palmer's guest on her book tour. For her beautiful book THE ART OF ASKING. "How did that happen?" Many people ask. I think it happened through love. I give away my books for free, which is giving love. Amanda gives away her music for free, which is giving love. Someone noticed, told us about each other. We started talking on Twitter, and yesterday we shared borscht. I cooked it, with love. She ate it, with love. Tonight we will be talking more about it, about what it means to ask, and to be vulnerable, and, underneath it all, to love.
My daughter sent me love yesterday. She animated IRKADURA cover. And it made me cry. Because the song at the end, it stirred memories. It was her showing me that she felt me. What could be more beautiful?
More love. I met with a writer friend yesterday. We talked about what it means to be a professional writer. I tweeted our conversation. People reacted to it in different ways, many were outraged because in his eyes I'm not a professional writer since I'm not making much money with my books and am I represented by a traditional publishing house. But I didn't see it that way at all. I saw it as an exchange of love. He felt safe enough to tell me his fears. Because that's what was sitting underneath our conversation. My fear. His fear. What will happen to our books? What is going on with all those changes in the publishing world? How will we survive? I felt love. There is so much of it in me, ever since I started writing...it grows and grows and lately I don't seem to run out of it.
It's a beautiful feeling.
And reading. Reading is loving too. Receiving love. I've been reading tons of children's books lately, rereading those I grew up on, in sync with writing CORNERS, which is really a nostalgic trip into my childhood, revisiting all those stories. I'm also reading books you all grew up on, books I didn't know about. Like The Secret Garden, or Enid Blyton's books, or Anne of Green Gables. Another discussion sprung up about it on Twitter. Why are children's books so full of positivity? Why do we have so much pain and horror and so many terrible things happen in adult books, and why not much of it is present in children's books? I thought about it. And I think I know. Perhaps it is because we want to give children love and only love. Because we're so afraid of exposing them to reality of human suffering, we want to hold them. Hold them safe in our arms. With our stories. With our words. But then maybe not. Maybe we simply allow ourselves to be happy when we write for kids. We get back to that time when we could be fascinated by the littlest things, find wonder in the tiniest details. A bug. A flower. A cloud. A puddle.
Maybe we allow ourselves to get carried away by the moment, when we write for kids, without all that fear we have learned as adults. It is the only way to live, really, in a moment. Sad how we forget this. Perhaps children's authors are the happiest people on earth? I don't know. I'm typing my thoughts as they occur. Without censoring them. Just feeling love. There is so much of it. In the books I have read lately. Maybe it's our wish to see the world how we want to see it, perfect. Maybe that is what gets reflected in children's stories. We don't want to frighten young readers away. We want them to develop a taste for stories, for reading, so that later they can find love in the most gruesome heartrending stories, see it underneath the layers of pain. Is that why? I don't know.
I only know that writing is loving. And we love children by writing them stories that make them want to love and believe and hope. Perhaps when we grow up we feel that others will be strong enough to hold our suffering, if we dare to write it into stories.
I don't know why I'm writing all this. I feel vulnerable and scared. I will be facing hundreds of people from the stage today. And tomorrow, tomorrow I'm starting to write the 2nd draft of CORNERS and there is that conflicting feeling again. The exhilaration and the horror. Will it turn out okay? Will I be able to say with it what I want to say? Will it satisfy me as a writer? Because if it will, it will satisfy my readers.
But more than anything, I'm thrilled to disappear into the world of stories. I get to dive into 30 books of my childhood, and I get to talk to the characters, and play around with the stories. Some of them are quite gruesome, like Bluebeard and The Masque of the Red Death, and...
My blog writing got interrupted because we went on a walk with Amanda, and now I have to wrap it up and quickly get ready for the even tonight. I will leave you with this image below.
I love you.