on leaving your writerly self some writerly threads, and on reading RAIN REIGN

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I was feeling sad. It doesn't matter why. I wrote part of a story then I didn't have a next, and so I went to take a walk. To think this inchoate tale of mine through. To cast about for a "then...." I wasn't planning to write another word, but I don't believe you can leave a story hanging on the edge of its own cliff. You have to have something to return to—tomorrow, next week, next year. You have to have some dangling threads.

I went to a patch of woods, stood by a creek, took photographs, made notes, gave myself a place to begin again.

Then I came home and chose from this stack of books and read.

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin is the book I chose. Count me now among the crowd of admirers of this simple-seeming book. It's the story of a girl who loves homonyms (which are in fact called homophones), a girl who loves rules, a girl whose single dad may not be well-equipped to handle her quirks, her needs. Against the odds, this girl's dad does, for her, something that seems right and good—brings home a dog she names Rain. But after a superstorm separates the girl from the dog, she learns loneliness, worry, and how to handle the truth. How to be bigger than one's own needs. How to see the world as others do.

How do we teach our children integrity? We give them books like this one—Rain Reign.

How do we write well, whenever we will write again?

By reading the right books. By burying our sad in another's art.

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