Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.
In fiction, the characters have their own lives. They may start as a gloss on the author’s life, but they move on from there. In poetry, especially confessional poetry but in other poetry as well, the poet is not writing characters so much as emotional truth wrapped in metaphor. Bam! Pow! A shot to the gut.
Part of her revolted against the insanity of the rules. Part of her was grateful. In a world of chaos, any guidelines helped. And she knew that each day she remained alive, she remained alive. One plus one plus one. The Devil's arithmetic...
Fiction cannot recite the numbing numbers, but it can be that witness, that memory. A storyteller can attempt to tell the human tale, can make a galaxy out of the chaos, can point to the fact that some people survived even as most people died. And can remind us that the swallows still sing around the smokestacks.
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
A book is a wonderful present. Though it may grow worn, it will never grow old.
If you give up at the first rejection or the first bad review, you will never make it in publishing.
When you realize my best selling books are 'Owl Moon,' the 'How Do Dinosaur' books, and 'Devil's Arithmetic,' how can the public make sense of that! I have fans who think I only write picture books or only write SF and fantasy. I have fanatics of my poetry and are stunned to find out I write prose, too!
My beloved husband goes through radiation, and a book of sonnets is my passionate response. And then after he dies, I write another book of poems as a farewell. The two keywords here are passion and joy. I simply have a passion for writing, and I do it with joy.
It seems like I've been writing since birth! I started writing poems before I got to school. I wrote the class musical in first grade - both words and music. It was about a bunch of vegetables who got together in a salad. I played the chief carrot!
While I was in junior high, I wrote an entire essay in rhyme about manufacturing in New York State. In high school, I won a Scholastic poetry contest.
I read everything aloud, novels as well as picture books. I believe the eye and ear are different listeners. So as writers, we have to please both.
I think picture books should stretch children. I think they should be full of wonderful, amazing words.
In college, I wrote newspaper articles and songs. Then, on my 21st birthday, I sold my first book. It was a nonfiction book about women pirates - 'Pirates in Petticoats.' After that, I was a book writer for good.
I began as a journalist for my pocketbook and a poet for my soul.
Don't let anyone discourage you from writing. If you become a professional writer, there are plenty of editors, reviewers, critics, and book buyers to do that.
Myths are stories that explain a natural phenomenon. Before humans found scientific explanations for such things as the moon and the sun and rainbows, they tried to understand them by telling stories.