Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Seeing, pt 3

On my writing walk yesterday, I had an idea so central to my story I literally bonked myself on the head. I'd explain, but I'd have to go into too much detail about my story and even then, I'm sure you'd just think Duh! It's so obvious and solves such a huge problem (at least I think it does now) that I can't believe I didn't think of it before...except that's how these things work.

Going down a familiar street, in a new direction, I noticed that someone's garage door had been tagged. The homeowners spray-painted this over the grafitti: Love, Kindness, Respect = Power.

On a different topic, here's Lalita Tademy on getting into the heads of her ancestors while writing Cane River:

It took me nine months to write the first draft of this book. And I spent those nine months everyday, never a break, on a plantation, during the Civil War, during the reconstruction, or in the Jim Crow South. I was totally immersed in this world.

Immersion. That's what Patricia Wood spoke about too. That might be the key, rather than amount of time spent. You can read the rest of Tademy's interview about her two novels at LitMinds Blog.

8 comments:

iyan and egusi soup: said...

nice post, carleen. i admire the homeowners' attitude.

and i really enjoyed reading the lalita tademy interview; she's quite thoughtful in her responses. i'm interested in this process of researching to the point of immersion...

the question of whether racism still exists...if only.

Lisa said...

You've got me thinking about all kinds of things today! Do you go on a writing walk every day? What a great idea - I know I do my best thinking on walks and yet, I don't do one daily and I should. And what a powerful way to respond to being tagged!

The interview with Lalita Tademy is fascinating. What dedication to a story -- total immersion. She's a fascinating woman and of course I love that she came from the IT world ;)

Rebecca Burgess said...

Carleen, thank you for visiting my blog and opening up a whole to place to visit. Now I'm off to read the Lalita Tademy interview.

Carleen Brice said...

I don't do a writing walk every day. I was about to say I should, but maybe it's best to use that option when I need to shake things up? I hope to take more now that I have more time so we'll see how it works out.

Sustenance Scout said...

Writing walks. You could write a book on those alone, Carleen. Personal essays on what you see (the current example, for example) and what clicks. Seriously. Meanwhile, I've been immersed in kids' power plays at brownies and soccer and homecoming games and other familial/social events. Crazy stuff, but at least it gets us out and about. Immersion always makes me think about learning a foreign language and how even a weekend spent trying to speak another language can switch your brain to a new channel. Exercise works for me, too.

Looking forward to reading Lalita Tademy's interview! K.

Carleen Brice said...

Scout, thanks for the book idea. I'd read that book.

Sustenance Scout said...

Wow, that interview is chock full. Another two titles to add to the list of must-reads. I recall hearing about her first book and didn't realize she'd published a follow-up. Might be fun to read both back to back. The issues of skin tone and the "paper bag" test knock me over. K.

Sustenance Scout said...

Carleen, I just wrote a quick post on that interview and featured Lalita Tademy's two books. Thanks again! K.