Friday, April 8, 2016

Unexpected Gifts

Gathering in requires just the right baskets, an attentive
mind and an open heart. 
We writers know that reading feeds writing.  It’s one of the reasons we read.  (Did I mention I’ve read over 400 picture books this year.  And at least ten verse novels. And over twenty mysteries [This number would not be so high had I not discovered Inspector Gamache. Thanks, Jude.])

You get the picture.  Every book I read reminds me of  experiences I’ve forgotten, thoughts I’ve kept shuttered.  Books remind me of sights, of smells, of the way things feel when I hold them in my hands or against my cheek. Writers read, and reading is the food of writing.

So I shouldn’t be surprised that yesterday as I read through the pile of picture books my husband had collected for me from the library while I was in Thailand, a memory came floating back, like a little boat on a small lagoon. 

Inspiration.  But, oh, I thought to myself.  Surely someone has already written that story.  A quick search of the internet, the library catalog and Amazon told me that no one had.  Incroyable! (Pardon my French ;-).

So, I sat down to write it.  Really, I think the story had been hiding there in my mind, writing itself for the past eight years.  It had been waiting for me to see its potential (I can relate).  And then, when I finally opened my eyes, it was there, nearly fully formed.   Well, okay, it needs a lot of revision, but it’s a start. 

A start I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t live broadly in the world, gathering in its sights and sounds.  Noticing the daily miracles. 

And it’s a start I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t sat down to read just the right books at just the right time.  A gift. 

Thank you, world.  Thank you, books.  Thank you.

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