With apologies to my wife, this morning I bought my second book. By second I mean the second during my moratorium not to buy any. The thing is I had to. Not for the usual reasons, but because Willa Cather is buried near where I live. As I read a review in the Wall Street Journal of a new book of Cather’s letters, I knew within sixty seconds I had to have the book.
Today is my last fiction writing class online from NYU. I took the class to help me decide if fiction should be part of next years year of the book. I have several ideas for non fiction books, several more for creative non-fiction articles and several dozen poems begging to be published, but no fiction stories completed. Only beginnings (Next to titles, I love beginnings).
As it stands now, and I mean right this minute, I do not plan to include fiction in my 2014 writing efforts. During class today I could very well change my mind. All of which to say, this is why I buy books. Willa Cather helped me. In 1916 in a letter to her brother Douglass, she writes, ” To write well you have to be all wrapped up in your game and think it awfully worth while.”
As I start reading The Selected Letters of Willa Cather by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout, I know the twenty bucks was worth it. This one sentence states my problem, not with writing, but with fiction. I try, but I can’t get wrapped up in it.
As I read her letters, I will most likely buy more books, hers. I might own some already, but I needed a reason to read them. Hearing how she was wrapped up in writing might be the catalyst.
As for my own writings, every time I write a nonfiction piece or a line of poetry, I am absorbed in the process, but fiction lulls. I can’t bring the emotion, the feelings and the experience to fiction. Not yet.
If fiction is ever to appear in my writings, it will be born out of life. The reason for its birth will be because of something I care for and can’t explain any other way. As I write of life, it is possible I will find my way to dreams.