Friday, March 27, 2009

How to write a novel

Just wanted to say, I was inspired by the Sue Evanovich books I read in the States in that she has a whole world of people who grew up together and they're adults going about their complicated lives but their parents still live next door or down the street and this person remembers what that person was like in 8th grade, or 2nd grade . . . 

And before that, I read something by John Updike (I think it was a mention in a poem, actually - a bunch of poems of his in the New Yorker that I ducked, at first, but then read and was very moved; they deal with death from various angles and when I read them I was at Pilgrim Place, my parents' retirement community, where conversations about death were also happening, where people were facing it and dealing with it) - anyway, though, this one poem went into a different direction and somehow touched on the fact that John Updike had been writing his novels all his life using a few people he'd known in something like kindergarten.

And I thought: OK, this is a way to proceed. So I'm inspired. But besides Murray Nickels and Julie somebody (Murray pulled the tassels off my nap blanket, but he also defended us girls when the other boys were knocking down our sand castles we'd built; also I had a little crush on him because his name sounded so much like mine) I am having a hard time remembering any names, even, from kindergarten, forget about the people themselves. (I was only in kindergarten a few months in Kinshasa; the rest of the time was homeschooling in Kenge and I do remember that, the projects we made [a hobby horse; a sun dial] - but I had no classmates there!) So I'm working on listing whoever I can from early years. To work with. Watch out, Murray!

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