Ruminations on a Rainy Day

I woke up this morning to cars sloshing along the rain-laden street outside my window. At 7 am it still felt like 5, the light barely filtering in. This being a perfect day to curl up on the chair on the, not-so-aptly-named, sun porch to read and write.

The reading choice today, taken from the top of the two-foot tall stack of books next to my bed, is The Taken by Inger Ash Wolfe (see previous post), although I'm wondering if I wouldn't been a little better off on this gloomy day to go for a bit of lighter fare (next on the pile is Christopher Moore's Bite Me).  

My mother sent me Wolfe's second book after having read it herself. She emailed me, rather bitter-sweetly, to tell me that The Taken was so well written that it may discourage anyone from writing because they would never be as good. Bodes well for the book, but not for my mental state as I prepare for a day of writing. Funny that good books can teeter on that edge, one minute leaning towards inspiration, the next towards discouragement. It makes me wonder about the person behind the book, the one whose ideas formed the words that filled the pages to create a story worth reading. And what, perchance, would be found in their stack of to-be-read books.   

For as adamant as I may be about the poor writing/editing of authors like Dan Brown or John Twelve Hawks, there is always an underlying sense of respect. Despite the writing, they manage to tell good stories (and beyond that, to get published). And even though they may be on the bottom of my pile of already-read books, they're still worth aspiring to.

So, as I sit down to write - more for the sense and sake of writing - I think about these writers and story tellers and how we, as a species, have cultivated our stories and manipulated them from thought to spoken word to written word to bound form. I think too about how these stories exist. How they started as abstract ideas in the mind's of those authors, and how they finish in the memory of the reader. Will I, a year from now, be able to recite how Robert Langdon or Hazel MicCallef overcame their obstacles, gained insight, and flummoxed their nemeses? Or does it even matter? Perhaps the lessons of modern day story tellers are not those cautionary tales that taught us to survive and prosper, but simply stories for story's sake, to be enjoyed and inevitably to be forgotten, bit by bit until it is once again an abstract in someone's mind.

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