Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: Happy Valentine’s Day! On this annual day of hearts and flowers, let’s talk about love. Express your undying devotion to the written word, a favorite book, or a prized writing utensil. Confess your ardor for a certain character, author, or fictional world. Go ahead, wax poetic. You can even use flowery language if you are so moved. Let Cupid guide you.
Jamie Wallace: I am almost afraid to begin for fear that I will be carried away. There is about the world of writing and stories and books an ever-present romance. When I take up my pen in the early hours to journal my morning pages, I am immediately soothed and settled by the presence of my familiar tools and the practice of simply forming each letter as I release my thoughts from the encasement of my skull and lay them out across the page. Those few precious moments at the start of my day feel like the embrace of a lover – comforting and yet exciting. Writing feels at times like a kind of courtship. The stories I read and words I write are a never-ending flirtation between my mind and my heart. Each journey of words – either read or written – takes me deeper into the relationship, peeling back layers so that I might turn infatuation into true love. Writing is an act of love. It is an effort to capture the essence of our love affair with life – each moment’s experience so treasured that we are compelled to recreate the reality with enduring words. As the wonderful E.B. White so eloquently said, “All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
Julie Hennrikus: I envy Jamie’s unabashed love of writing. My relationship with my writing at this moment is like being with someone who love dearly, but who is sitting firmly on your last nerve. But as to the question at hand? Jane Austen. Books. Movies. TV series. I’m at a Persuasion point in my own life, but am looking forward to my annual Pride and Prejudice viewing. The Colin Firth series, naturally. Though I have several versions at the ready.
Diane MacKinnon: It’s too late in the day for me to wax poetic, but I love so many things about writing I can’t not answer this question. I love my fountain pen and my ClaireFontaine journal, I love every new story that captures me and carries me away–I’m always sorry when the journey ends. My most recently loved book is The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. It made me think and it made me laugh–out loud! I love trying new things with my writing, and I love (love!) it when a writing project is finished.
Wendy Thomas: I have recently discovered that I am a better writer than speaker. When I speak, especially when it involves passion, I garble my thoughts and they come out in an order that I didn’t intend. I stutter a bit and trip over my words when overwhelmed – my speech just can’t keep up with the train-fast thoughts in my mind. The result is that my sentences often feel (and sound) like they have been torn apart and hastily repaired with a heavy translucent tape. I lose credibility. I lose faith that I am saying exactly what it is that I need to say.
But when I write, something happens. Perhaps, it’s the time delay, maybe it’s the years of organizational practice, but what sounded coherent in my mind, all of the sudden does make perfect sense when placed on paper. All of the “and another things” come out at the right time and in the right order. I soar and I make myself clear. When I write, I am heard. I exhale.
It’s that beauty and deep appreciation of thoughts finally captured that keep me in this game. It’s what makes me hold my breath in anticipation as I go back to re-read a particularly lovely passage – appreciation and acknowledgement of the pure and unadulterated raw brilliance that is thought in perfect action.
Lisa J. Jackson: I love the sound the paper makes when I’m turning the pages. When a book has my attention and pulls me forward, I notice that I caress the edge of the page and feel its texture in the anticipation of turning it to get to the next great scene. I love it when I can smell the ink or a lingering scent from a previous reader (if the book is used or borrowed). I loved library books as a kid and seeing all the signatures on a sign out card, knowing there were others like me in the world who enjoyed opening a cover and seeing what was between the pages.
Nothing is more comforting in my grip than a book, and if there’s any sense of danger, I will cover the book and keep it safe. For instance, a favorite magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, during the snow storm, no harm can come to the words I want to read, so I wrapped the junk newspaper around it to keep it dry. I once loaned a book to someone for a weekend. It was returned to me all curled and faded. “I dropped it in a puddle, but it’s all dry now. You can still read it,” came the response. I was so offended!
Reading, to me, is very sensory – and why I just can’t make the leap into e-reader.