Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Post In Which I Gush Over Eleanor Farjeon Again

No Man's Week is winding down, even as I type. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the library, then came home to a fire in the fireplace, a semi-quiet game night, and—yay!—takeout. It's not a complete hunkering down, of course. Little bits of real life impinge in the form of bills, lesson plans, laundry, thank you notes, to-do lists, and the endless loop of bad news on CNN.

I'm starting to think about the weeks to come when I'll have larger blocks of time to write. I have three pieces that are thisclosetobeingdone, and I don't have to look any further than my blogroll for inspiration. There is Jean, for example, who resolves to submit (or make that send) more work this year, Marianne who already has stories about to appear in print, and the ever-prolific Grace, who doesn't allow anything—including tragically hemmed pants or hospitalization—to break her writing stride. I'm also trying to organize my reading a little more. At the moment, I'm all over the place.

Circling back to our library trip...I found a circa 1950 copy of Eleanor Farjoen's novel, The Glass Slipper, and I cannot wait to read it. I discovered Farjoen—an English children's book writer—last year when I picked up her collection of stories, The Little Bookroom. I thought I bought it for the girls, but have since come to the realization that I didn't. At the end of every story I have the same visceral reaction: a tiny, sharp intake of breath. If you want to read a quick one, I posted it here.

Anyway, in looking more into Farjoen's life, I found that director/animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, etc.) cites her as an influence. I like the way they both resist(ed) placing characters and situations into convenient good/bad categories (I know I'm supposed to say "dichotomies." Alas, I cannot...). Instead, they present life as it is: complicated. It makes me happy when authors respect the intelligence of children (or, um, adults) in this way. It's something I try to do in my own writing, but I'm often lazy and miss the mark.

Note to self: stop missing mark.

No comments: