Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Here's to Teachers

Have I mentioned what fun I'm having with the writing?

My cup of gratitude runneth over this evening. Some incredible teachers have shared their wisdom with me. Their generosity is the source of this fun.

The Mystic One took an enormous leap of faith with this semi-crazed woman and paid me to write books. Taught me how, too. More than that, he believes in my stories and encourages me to tell them.

Jennifer Lauck conducted a workshop in Carrie Link's home, the second and third official writing classes I ever had. Jennifer and Carrie opened my eyes and my heart to my own stories and taught me to write the things I least want to face.

Anthony Doerr taught the workshop I attended at the Taos Summer Writer's Conference. Anthony gave me five full days of head-spinning information. He emphasized how much every word counts. Reading (and then studying) his book, Four Seasons in Rome is several semesters' worth of instruction.

Through their books and stories, Rick Bragg, Barbara Robinette Moss, Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Abigail Thomas, Monica Holloway, Elizabeth Berg, and others showed me the way. Miss Snark reinforced their lessons.

Monday, with my fears playing under my desk, I pounded out this sentence: The seasons were quick to change in the Ozark Mountains, but the summer of 1964 came on so hard it surprised us.

Tuesday and Wednesday, with my teachers and friends swirling through my brain pan, that sentence slowly became: The seasons are always quick to change in the Ozark Mountains, but the summer of 1964 dropped onto the Missouri hills like a wet wool blanket.

The difference between the two is what keeps me up nights and wakes me early. I simply cannot wait to learn more and bring it to the pages.

Given everything else going on here right now, writing—learning to write from my gut—is saving my sanity. . .my life. . .my soul.

Thank you, Teachers.

Thank you, Friends.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

You know it's true what they say, when the student is ready, the master appears. Thank yourself, Sweet Love!

kario said...

Yup. Ditto Carrie. The teachers can't teach the unwilling. Honor yourself for being open to instruction and blessed with some serious talent!

Suzy said...

And thank you for sharing your life and stories with us..


Amber said...

**SHHHHHHH** I'm still on a blog break... But I wanted to ask you if you have read "No Robots", over at the "Grow Wings" blog? I don't know if you read Laini or not. But she has a bunch of great posts abotu writing, she calls No Robots, if you look for her link on my sidebar links.

Thanks for these links, too.


Anonymous said...

I love that you are writing your story Jerri! The parts you shared, have stayed with me. I can still see a little girl, in a tube going down a river....were so good!! Keep writing, you have the tools, you have the gift, believe in yourself and write!

Nancy said...

"dropped onto the Missouri hills like a wet wool blanket."


riversgrace said...

Whole-heartedness....this is what I see in you, J.

Yes, it does save you. It's your very life force, in full bloom, meeting you in the heart.

Love where you're coming from...and where you're going.

Deb said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for pushing through the fear so that we can read your incredible writing. I'm waiting here for a story - I'm missing your stories like crazy!

Jess said...

Hey, there's an interview with Elizabeth Berg on my favorite podcast, Barnes and Noble's Meet the Writers.

There's a bunch of other great ones on there, too. All 10-15 minute interviews with interesting writers. I think you'd really like them... (I've probably mentioned this before, forgive me.)

holly said...

like a wet wool blanket ... lovely!

an honor and a pleasure to share in your stories and thoughts!

Terry Whitaker said...

I had a brilliant message to impart--then I started reading everyone else and saying "yeah, yeah, and yeah to that, too--Then I forgot my own brilliance.