The Write Life

April 22, 2017
Books, Books, Swimming in a Sea of Books

The e-reading devices have made me a fiction-reading obsessive. Hooked on Books was the name of a used book store up the road, which is sadly now closed because they sold paper books. But the books I buy on non-paper are proliferating like rabbits in springtime on my e-reading devices. I’m truly hooked.

I’m about to launch a book of my own, The Renaissance Club, a time-travel novel set in Italy involving the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini and a contemporary young art historian who specializes in–him. Forthcoming from Fiery Seas Publishing, the novel will appear as an e-book original and a paperback original. While I love that it will be both on paper and the ether, I’m an e-only reader. My eyes and hands like holding a Kindle better and I can turn pages faster, read more books. As a result, I have begun to simply consume novels. I now have — I blush to admit it — almost 100 books on my e-reading app, which means accessible on all my devices. A sea of books — what could be more delicious.

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April 14, 2017
Typing Your Life

A year came in which I realized I’m writing all the time, that this is my life, my Write Life. It started with learning to touch type. When I was ten, my mother gave me a book — doesn’t it always start for writers with a book? She lent me her Smith-Corona portable, on condition that I’d study her book on touch typing.

At first it was awkward: QWERTY? Why? But there is no why in touch typing. There is only do, and speed. So I practiced, pounding on the silver-rimmed black keys. To improve, I continued practicing at night on my bedspread as I lay on my pillow. I practiced typing my thoughts, recording them in invisible ink, fingers pounding where keys would be, taking dictation from myself and stealing words around me. Soon it became an obsession. I’d type on my thigh as I sat at my desk in school. I couldn’t stop recording. I got so fast that I clocked at 60 words a minute without having taken a formal course.

I am now the hit of every meeting. No one takes notes faster. Thankfully, I quit recording everyone else’s words. But I date the beginning of being a writer to becoming a typist. Someone had given me a magical device for thought transmission, and that was the beginning of my Write Life. Facility and ease of capturing ideas gave birth to grand projects: my first novel at age twelve, along with later poems, plays, songs, essays, and memoirs. A million thoughts might fly through every day. Writers are the ones who practice noticing and netting the good ones.

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