Saturday, September 08, 2007

So I'm Not Actually Not Writing Into a Void

Sometimes I forget that I am not writing into a void here. That people beyond my small circle of friends and family can find me. Somebody found me once and asked to quote me on their website selling Ann Hood's new novel, "The Knitting Circle." Then today, I received a comment on an older post from one of my favorite writers, Renee Manfredi. This is almost as exciting as getting published! To save you the scrolling time here it is:

Hi there,
Came across your blog. For what's it worth, having written 2 novels and a collection of stories, and having worked all sorts of jobs and hour combination during the process, I can tell you this: whether you work banker's hours, or are at home all day, your writing demands the same effort from you. Think of it this way: a child goes through the same developmental stages, rate of growth, whether her mother stays at home with her or works all day at Microsoft. Personally, I simply don't believe someone who claims to write for 5-6 straight hours. You can certainly be in a revisional mode that long, but not a compositional one. The white heat of creativity is about 90 minutes-2 hrs. 3, maybe. MAYBE longer if you have 2 sessions per day. I don't know anyone whe stays in the chair the whole time they're writing. For heaven's sake! Everybody procrastinates. Everybody dilly-dallys. How ELSE would the house get clean, the dogs get walked, and the risotto get stirred? Or blog entries be posted? (I've already walked my dogs).
Hope this is helpful. And thanks for your kind words about my story "Bocci."

Renee Manfredi

Her words are reassuring. I'm not sure why I expect so much from myself. Maybe to justify the fact that I have the luxury of not having to work outside the home? But of course, there is a lot of work that goes on inside the home. Anway... Renee Manfredi took time to respond on my blog. How cool is that? I read her novel, "Above the Thunder" a few years ago and just fell in love with the story, the characters, everything. So, of course I went on-line to see what else she had written and bought her collection of stories "Where Love Leaves Us". It is now on my permanent bookshelf of books I turn to again and again to teach myself how to write stories that have so much depth to them. Her latest is a novel "Running Away with Franny" which I also devoured. Her characters are so rich and layered and memorable. She says of her characters in "Above the Thunder" "I never think about plot. I don't think about theme. I think about characters. And these characters became very real to me. I dreamed about them." Well, they seem very real to me too.

One of my best compliments ever came when I recommended "Above the Thunder" to a friend (to everyone really, even a lady standing in front of the new releases at the library). My friend then gave to it to another saying how much I had loved it and after reading it this friend said she could see why I loved it so much. That it reminded her of my writing. Sigh...

My, this has been a big day. Earlier I took my girls to a reading/signing with Judy Blume. The mothers were as excited to be there as the daughters. It's amazing what a significant impact she's made on at least two generations of girls and women. I just bought the collection of essays, "Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume". I'm sure we could all write such an essay.


katie said...

Thank you for the writer recommendation; I plan to read one of renee manfredi's books now.

I'm happy to know my painting has such a good home...thank you Kim.


Kim Haas said...

katie- you are so welcome. I started with "Above the Thunder" and obviously just loved it. Unfortunately I came across it at the library so I really need to buy my own copy!

Anonymous said...


How very rewarding it must have been to you to attract such comments.

Proud as always,


Kim Haas said...

Dad- Yes, it's so rewarding. Not only that she read it but that she took the time to give such a thoughtful response. It really meant a lot to me. Thanks so much! Love, Kim