TIRA (her wonderful blog is Time Is Running Away) graciously passed me a "Coisas Importantes" award and asked that I come up with the six most important things in my life. So, without worrying over it for weeks, and I do tend to worry over lists, here are my six.
1. All the people I love and have loved.
2. All the animals I love and have loved.
3. The ability and opportunity to write.
4. My work outside of writing, which is teaching. It’s important to me that I do a good job with students.
5. My entertainments, particularly books but also movies, music, art, and other entertainments I enjoy.
6. Living in a place I love.
And speaking about writing, here’s a little quote about writing that I got from my agent, Sara Crowe's blog (Crowe’s Nest, a blog for her clients). One of those clients is the YA writer Randy Powell, who quotes something George Saunders’s said in a Tin House interview.
“With writing, you have your eyes closed and you’re passing your hand over the stove trying to find out where the hot spots are. My thought is that you trust the hot spots. Don’t even think about anything else. Look for the place where the prose energy is high…”
I love this quote because it speaks to the great mystery we face all the time as writers. This guy has written very successfully for over twenty years, both fiction and non-fiction, but here he is talking about closing his eyes and hoping to feel hot spots. Love it. And he also manages good advice, of course. Be vigilant about prose. Try to feel when you’re going through the motions. Try to only keep the hot spots.