It was time to go. I was going to be late. But i simply could not stop reading. I could not leave Natalia and Victor in this predicament. Time to go, Cristy. No! just one more page… and another… and another… What does it matter if i’m late when so much is at stake? Dear God, what is going to happen? I must know… I wish i could write like this, like Roxanne Veletzos in The Girl They Left Behind.
I read the first sentence of Chapter 19, said “Oh, no,” put the book down, covered my face, and fought back tears. A minute later, i picked it back up, read the second sentence and howled with relief. I wish i could write like this, like Judy Blume in Forever.
I read Many Waters to my kid to help her through a dreadful case of measles. I wish i could write like Madeleine L’Engle.
All night long, I read that Kurt Vonnegut novel about the line of succession making some small town city councilman President of the United States after nuclear holocaust (the one, i think with Ha Ha Ho Ho Hee Hee. Anybody know which book i’m talking about?) to get through a severe outbreak of hives. I wish i could write like Kurt Vonnegut.
But, the fact is i can’t write like somebody else. I can only write like me. And that’s okay. I have a voice. I have a style.
Dylan Thomas said of writer Djuna Barnes, “… I even tried a few writing experiments, consciously imitating her style. It is an entirely unique style: one sentence, and you know it is Djuna.” Wow.
Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “When I write, I can shake all of my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived. But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something truly great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?” Wow again, at the deep sadness, her vibrant life and her writing ended so soon. But Anne, you are one of the world’s most famous and impactful writers.
Oh my. Many thoughts as i persevere with my writing enterprises. Recently, i have queried five agents and small presses, my first round since February. And meanwhile, i continue fine-tuning Beyond the Gate, the story of young Jessie, hoping that one day some reader like you or me will have to read just one more page of it… and then another… and then another…
Friends, let’s share. What is one of the most compelling books you’ve read, a real page-turner?