What I didn’t know

What I didn’t know when I started writing Inside the River:

That once silence is broken open into words, there is no longer silence.

-That once hours turns into years and years gets marked by the amount of drafts redone, what once was a dream becomes an ambitious endeavor.

-That my confidence as a writer didn’t grow because of what I wrote, but what I was willing to rewrite and delete.

-That now, when I read books, I find myself cheering a little inside when the rules and structure of story are exquisitely bent.

-That expectations are the hurdles I chose to place on my path, and my legs are way too short to start learning how to jump at this point in my life.

-That writing the words “The End” would be the ultimate beginning.

-That dipping my modern pen into the social media ink would make my fears begin to lessen into irrelevance.

-That a kind comment from a stranger, matters…a lot.

-That my gratitude for Ana didn’t stop after I stopped writing her story.

-That I have more stories to tell.

xoxo

Oprah, do you know Ang Lee?

I went out to lunch with my parents, feeling a touch discouraged by the progression of my book (still waiting to hear back from two interested agents).  My mother, always a cheerleader, suddenly said, “Oprah, do you know Ang Lee?”

We all laughed, even as we wondered who out there, with our six degrees of separation, knows Ang Lee.  So, if you read this, and somehow your cousin once made a tall, skim, extra hot, no water Oprah Chai Latte for Ang Lee’s cousin…well, perhaps you could put in a good word?!?

Here’s my pitch:

“Inside the River,” is a story about carrying the shame of someone else’s wrongdoing and then letting it go.  It’s a story about reclaiming that which is divine and magical within all of us.  My book is an affirmation and a prayer of sorts, in whatever way you believe that to be: Ana grabbed a fist full of dirt with one hand and let the shadows out; Emma burned a bouquet of scents representing Antonio’s life of yearning and misread intentions; Carmen, the large and looming white-haired tambourine playing gypsy declared herself the leader of her tribe; and Eloisa carried the green bag with the magical book inside, believing it her destiny to search for the blue haired girl who made the fish forget their pact of silence and sing for freedom.

Ultimately, it is a story which asks the question: Is our life predetermined, already sketched in a magical book, or can we change what is on the page?

Thank you for reading, sharing, and maybe becoming some degree of separation…

xoxo

All living things contain a measure of madness–Life Of Pi

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.”-Yann Martel, “Life of Pi”

As read on jeffjlin.com, Ang Lee, from the age of 30-36, with two kids and his wife supporting them, tries to get a script going.  Each new script was sent in and rejected.  For six years he kept his focus and although I assume he was dismayed and contemplating other forms of work, kept going.  I wonder how often he looks back on those years of uncertainty? I wonder how grateful he is for his own tenacity of will and craft? (I know I am)  Or maybe it’s a form of madness, this passion of purpose, unwavering and persistent?

In “Life of Pi”, the madness was with Richard Parker, the tiger, which allowed Pi his story of survival.  In my novel, “Inside the River,” Ana hears singing fish.  Magical Realism is such an appealing tool to show the elements of our imagination needed to adapt, thrive, and survive.  It opens up space for a new tunnel of experience, bordered by its own set of rules, its own reality.

Unlike fantasy, where a whole new world is created, magical realism inserts bits of magic into the world we live in, helping us to survive its madness.  I am attracted to this form of story, this off-centered truth, this raw and penetrating attempt to light up the dark spots of our minds.