|late September morning 2018|
The spiderweb that revealed itself in the morning light the other day sparkled and begged to be photographed--which I was happy to oblige. Later, curiosity prompted me to seek out words and ideas that might have been written comparing spiderwebs to the writer. I was not disappointed. Ms. Paterson expresses the thought magnificently in the above quote--that of taking fragile threads (our ideas) and weaving them into a beautiful pattern, and creating order from internal chaos. What a great way to describe the challenges a writer faces. Love it!
Ironically, I'm currently reading one of Katherine Paterson's books: Gates of Excellence, On Reading and Writing Books for Children, a classic first published in 1981. We know Ms. Paterson best as author of the Newbery Medal winners Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved, and Newbery Honor Book The Great Gilly Hopkins. Overall she has written more than thirty books, sixteen of them for children. Along the way she has graciously shared insights from her life and experiences. For example...
On Writing Novels:
"A novel is not born of a single idea," she is quoted as saying. "The stories I've tried to write from one idea, no matter how terrific an idea, have sputtered out and died by chapter three. For me, novels have invariably come from a complex of ideas that in the beginning seemed to bear no relation to each other, but in the unconscious began mysteriously to merge and grow. Ideas for a novel are like the strong guy lines of a spider web. Without them the silken web cannot be spun." (See, there's the spider web again!)
"Read for fun, read for information, read in order to understand yourself and other people with quite different ideas. Learn about the world beyond your door. Learn to be compassionate and grow in wisdom. Books can help us in all these ways."
"The gift of creative reading, like all natural gifts, must be nourished or it will atrophy. And you nourish it, in much the same way you nourish the gift of writing--you read, think, talk, look, listen, hate, fear, love, weep--and bring all of your life like a sieve to what you read. That which is not worthy of your gift will quickly pass through, but the gold remains."
"What I have come to believe is that joy is the twin sister of gratitude. I am most joyful when I am most grateful."
"It seems to me that there are two great enemies of peace--fear and selfishness."
"You don't have to fight dragons to write books. You just have to live deeply the life you've been given."
And to think all of these thoughts and words-to-ponder grew out of one simple unassuming spiderweb that twinkled its way into the day and awakened us to a moment of beauty. It was a good day.
Any one quote by Ms. Paterson that resonates the most with you?