At present I am not a “write at least 30 minute a day” type of writer. I say that with a caveat because something that doesn’t work for me now may prove useful down the road. Writing is fluid, I think, and the practice of it is subject to change.
So what do I do if I’m not writing at the moment (aside from fretting about my current work-in-progress, as I’ve already mentioned)? I’ve been reading. Scribbling in my little red notebook. Then reading some more. This morning on the train I finished M.T. Anderson’s Feed – brilliant. Stark, funny, sad, overall quite terrifying, and again, brilliant. But I forgot to bring Skellig, the next book in the qeue with me, so this necessitated another trip to the Simmons library…where I got three more books. It’s a problem, I know. I started reading one that I borrowed last week: Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. It’s one of those books that I knew I needed to read after reading the first sentence (is this familiar to my readers out there?). I’m not far in but I just love it so far – so utterly sweet in an old-fashioned sort of way, and yet simultaneously funny and quite frightening. How can I not love a book that includes a bit of dialog like this?:
“We had quite a pleasant journey. A wolf jumped into our compartment last night, but Mr. Grimshaw – that gentleman – stabbed it to death and we moved into another compartment.”
Yes, that’s Sylvia, the young, intrepid traveler. I had heard of this book before, but also there is a nice drawing of a snarly wolf on the cover and that of course intrigued me. I love wolves. I had a photo of a wolf on the wall of my bedroom as a teenager, as it figured prominently into that epic vampire poem I was writing at the time (don’t laugh). Early inspiration for Erzebet’s companion, Kyzoni? Certainly. See, all was not for naught with that vampire epic, after all!