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Thursday, January 21, 2010

With Words Like These...

Who needs pictures?

I write because some day, I want to be a person who creates snippets like these, from The Whole World Over by Julia Glass:
“He was trained, she’d always thought, to use silence the way the Old Masters used white. The surface of a pearl, the shaft of light from a window, the glint on a chalice or a dagger.”
Or these, about a woman who’s had a brain injury, from the same novel:

“Riding on the train, she’d notice how highway signs were precisely the same green and white as those woven plastic lawn chairs (was that on purpose?), how she felt like a drop of water sliding fast through a long glass tube, how railroad ties were no longer made of dark motley wood but plain old concrete. But perhaps she had known and felt all these things before. At such times, she saw her brain as one of those pocket puzzles composed of numbered square tiles in a grid; the tiles had merely been mixed up like crazy, and now her work was to move them side to side, up and down, till she got them back in order.”

These two paragraphs stopped me dead. How did she come up with those images?

Ah, yes, there is nothing like good writing—Julia Glass, winner of a National Book Award for Fiction and, fellowship recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Hmmm, a goal to aim for—writing like Julia Glass—nothing wrong with lofty aspirations, I suppose. It makes sense right now though, to start a bit closer to the ground beginning with the following shameless plug.

Thanks to Simon, over at Constant Revision who mentioned it on his blog, I’ve entered a contest called “Why I Write” at The Editor Unleashed. My entry was culled from a Middle Passages post I wrote this autumn called "Scotch Anyone?" If you’d like to read it (and popular ranking plays a part, so you’ll be my best friend if you do), click on the "Scotch Anyone" link.

The contest is open until the end of the month if you want to enter; the top 50 will go on for further judging.


Elana Johnson said...

Very cool! I love those images too. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Well, how about that? I'm glad I could inspire you to enter that, good lady. I myself didn't get it together in time, despite having a killer idea. Best of luck!

And yes, those are some wonderful images. You have the artist's eye. I'm pretty sure you can craft images just as wonderful.

glnroz said...

lands a'goodness. I had flashbacks. I think my blood pressure is up too. lol . you will win.. my vote for sure.

Helen Ginger said...

I love it when I come across a line or a paragraph that makes me go, wow. It does indeed make one want to be a better writer!

Straight From Hel

Tabitha Bird said...

WOW! Those quotes are unreal. I love finding gems like that in books. And thanks for the link to the contest. :)

glnroz said...

where you be?.. hope things are going ok...thnx