I just checked out a book from the library titled Tick-Tock: A Book About Time by James Dunbar. and that's what I'm feeling right now, mostly wondering where time goes! It's nearly the end of the school year and I've just had two long after school/evening events. I relish the idea of spending a day reading some wonderful book, perhaps re-reading some favorite passages in the book I'm about to review.
Sometimes I read books fast; the action propels me forward to the end in lightning speed. And other books’ pages slow me down. I re-read lines, and often underline them. I star passages, and add notes to some. For anyone who wishes a book to savor, a passionate affair about writing, life, and created with loving authority too, please find Views from A Window Seat, Thoughts on Writing and Life, by Jeannine Atkins.
Jeannine takes the reader through a year of writing amid parts of her life. The thread that loosely holds the book together is a book she’s writing. We get to know some of its beginnings, how more than one day of writing might look, those who support her. Metaphors of both life and life’s writing flourish. As I read, I realized that I might make notes not only with words, but with sketches.
It was a pleasure to connect with the metaphorical lessons from Jeannine’s point of view and to try to translate them to other personal expectations. The words are clear, bring me to new understandings of how parts of novels work. In the chapter titled "Nest, Gardens, and Forest Paths", setting is explained. Jeannine writes: I try to embed descriptions in small slices. Each should function as a place where characters feel different aspects of themselves or who they can be. Later in another chapter, she writes about the moments that are not the great ones for which a person is known. The quieter moments of history may be as important as what happens in a family between posed snapshots.
Among many, a favorite line is Meaning in life is usually at least half-hidden, and that's what we want when we write and read. The anticipation mystery holds is at least half the excitement, and even in this book of essays by Jeannine, I found this mystery of what her thoughts might offer next so enticing.
I hope you'll take the time to order and read Views from A Window Seat, Thoughts on Writing and Life. I've discovered new ideas for myself, and new connections to my own life and writing from Jeannine's words.