Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On writing--and reading

      Writing,  whether it turns out well or not, is extraordinarily hard to do. A long list of authors will tell you that they suffer pangs of doubt and some say they do not enjoy writing very much. Geoff Dyer said he thought it would be the "inventing" part of a novel he would like, but he likes re-writing better. Joyce Carol Oates quotes D.H. Lawrence who explained, writing to his mother, as "Art for my sake". Be that as it may, the real reason we all write is so that someone might read it.

     If you are lucky enough to be published, you constantly check your Amazon standings. That can make you feel awful if you are in the five-digit category or wonderful if there are a few readers' comments to validate that what you are doing has been helpful.

     So, the bottom line is that we write to be read. And in this wonderful city of Columbus, Ohio, we have the #1 Library in the country.  There is nothing that the library cannot do. We can order books on line, they tell you when they are ready to be picked up. There is always a real, live person who will help you on the most esoteric questions.

     Andrew Carnegie's gift to build libraries, free of charge for every body, is , to me, the most important philanthropic gift ever given. Our downtown library received a building grant of $200,000 in 1901. Those wide marble stairs were there, and the circulation desk was through the front door, on the right of the foyer.  I grew up loving that library and I love it still. It encouraged me to be a reader and---ultimately a writer.  I was 80 when my first book was published. Thank you, Mr. Carnegie and  thank you, too, Pat Losinski, the executive of the current library system, for your stewardship.  In this time of shrinking finances everywhere, you are working miracles with the miserly 2.22% of the much-diminished total general tax revenue that is your budget share.

     If your have any interest in what I have read since Christmas, or what I have on order from the library, or what I have read on my Kindle, I'll be happy to e mail you.   Not that any one of you needs my list, but I would also welcome suggestions.

     I have a bad feeling that this second try of The Lost Blog seems un-spontaneous. Because it is.  Good words, once lost, just cannot be recaptured.


  1. It's good to "see" you! I know exactly how you were feeling when you wrote, "I have a bad feeling that this second try of The Lost Blog seems un-spontaneous. Because it is. Good words, once lost, just cannot be recaptured.". There have been too many times when I had written a long e-mail, just to have it disappear before I could send it, and I thought, "Well, forget THAT! There's no way I can go back, nor do I want to go back, and say all that again!". I'm glad you had the patience to re-write about libraries, and specifically about "your" library, because most readers get all glowy when they hear that word (library), and I am no exception! The Columbus library sounds much grander than the one in Odessa, TX, but the real proof is in the books, and the ability to get almost any book, and we do have that! About 52 years ago, my dad started taking me to this local library, nearly every Saturday morning. After we got our books, we went across the street to a little bakery to get some goodies to take home to the rest of our family. I took my children to this library, and although it's been moved to a different building, I now take my grandchildren.
    I just realized that this is your blog, not mine, and I'm talking too much! I would love to have a list of what you're reading, if you would send it to vickijimmyk@gmail.com. I just finished a very inspiring, humorous book called, "Don't Leave Me This Way: Or When I Get Back On My Feet You'll Be Sorry" by Julia Fox Garrison. I enjoyed it very much!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    Vicki K.

  2. Me too! I'm always looking for books to read.