Kathryn Stockett spoke to a standing room only crowd in a huge church sanctuary because there wasn’t enough room anywhere else in Dallas for her rock-star crowd. We were totally with her when she began reading from a pile of rejection letters. She named names, and what could we do but laugh at the stupidity of the agents and editors who rejected THE HELP. We loved imagining how they must be kicking themselves, no longer able to trust their judgment, mortified and embarrassed before the entire literary world.
Rebecca Reynolds is a museum education consultant in the UK
by Rebecca Reynolds
In her book The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Janet Malcolm talks about reading a biography of Plath by Anne Stevenson. Malcolm found that the quotations from Plath’s poetry in the book spoke more strongly than the biographical part: ‘the voices began to take over the book and to speak to the reader over the biographer’s head. They whispered “Listen to me, not to her. I am authentic.”’
Posted in Cindy Jones, Guest Post, Jane Austen, My Jane Austen, Rebecca Reynolds, Writers' Houses
Tagged Chawton House Museum, Cindy Jones, Jane Austen's writing desk, John Milton's cottage, My Jane Austen, My Jane Austen Summer, Rebecca Reynolds, Sylvia Plath, Writers' Houses
One of the places I did not go this summer.
I have been telling my husband: if I had one week of total isolation I could finish my novel. Well, I got my chance to prove it. As of 8:00 am last Monday morning, I was HOME ALONE. For five days it was just me and my novel.
Day T-1: I wanted to hit the ground running so I cleaned my office (for the first time since 2013) and cleared my desk of everything not related to the novel-in-progress. The result was exhilarating and I decided I should do that more often.
Previously published on Girlfriends Book Club
Since we are discussing setting I will reluctantly work past my discomfort to share, not only how I obtained realistic details to create the manor house in my novel, but also how a sense of poetic entitlement caused me to behave badly. Ahem. (Sound of me clearing throat). I avoided arrest and have purposely omitted names in this post in order to protect myself.
Why do people start sentences with the word ‘so’ and why do I feel compelled to understand this linguistic trend? At first, I was only dimly aware of the word ‘so’ popping up at the beginning of non-interrogatory sentences. So, I’m not going to the party at the lake. Then I read this post on Facebook: So we had dinner at the museum.Finally, when a young woman stood at a podium and said, So we’re having a fundraising event…, I said to myself: what’s up with ‘so’?
In two days, seated around a table with my extended family, each of us will take a moment to say what we are thankful for, and I will say what I always say: my family, not because I have no imagination to vary my response from year to year, but because nothing else even comes close. But, if I were seated at, say, a Thanksgiving Dinner for Writers Only, I might venture into new gratitude territory, like: my agent, my website, and my writing sweater. Depending on how long I had the floor, I might eventually express thanks for things like the forward delete key, subtext, and yes, failure.
I also know what a selfie is and how to take one.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that I know how to tweet, and even more surprised that I know how to create a hashtag that will change my life. Yes, I, who never had a problem sitting down and facing my literary problems am so far off track, I’m surrendering myself to the mercy of the very social media frontiers I intended to ignore. With Twitter and a hashtag, I can be held publicly accountable for my writing time and output.