I’ve been reading Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel. It’s a collection of writings to his editor as he also wrote East of Eden. In fact, he had a notebook where on one side he wrote the letter and the other he wrote the story. I can’t even imagine writing long hand anymore. What a pain in the ass. I like to be able to click my mouse over thousands of lines of text and then cut it only to paste it somewhere else I like better. (before I edited this, lines was written lies. Some kinda’ of mental slip?)
I had forgotten how much I like him as a writer. He said that “The craft or art of writing is the clumsy attempt to find symbols in the wordlessness. In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.” This sounds so fatal like he is saying it is impossible but really he goes on to say that if a writer is wise enough to know this then he is not a writer at all and that the good writer is the one who works at the impossible. I f*cking love this idea.
Steinbeck’s Red Pony was the first real literature I read. It was the summer before I went into third grade. There was a program with the school and the library so I read a hundred books that summer and got a trophy for it at school the next year. It was my first time in a library. I love being there with my mom and each of us reading our books. I wrote stories that summer too. The librarian had a box you could look at and it had these cards, each with this little outline of an idea. You took the card and started a story. I still have them. Some of them have little illustrations to go along with them. It was the first time I wrote without it being a school assignment.
I never really thought of it as a beginning or foundation but I see now that it was…