Monday, November 9, 2015

Seeking Silence

How awesome is it that NaNoWriMo falls at the same time the bulk of our novel writing with OYAN is beginning?!  In our last lesson, the instructor, Daniel, commented that inspiration is not always a given.  Authors do not always have the luxury of waiting to write until they feel inspired to write.  Often then have to push through it.   It’s not always easy and it’s not always fun.  

I think it is my “job” to try to make it fun.  One of my most favorite writing memories was working at Yale University while Grace attended a Splash.  I wrote at a coffee shop and I wrote at the library and I loved it, every moment of it.  I can’t tell you what I was writing about, although I think it was my still unpublished art journaling eBook.  What I can tell you is that I felt like a writer.  That feeling was what I wanted the girls to experience so we packed our laptops in backpacks and headed to New Haven.

Our first stop was Foundry Music, our favorite music store.  We are in desperate need for advanced level sheet music for all things Christmas.  Grace is going to play the piano for our Christmas Pageant at church and I am hoping she will be able to play at the local community dinner once a week during the month of December.  She needs more challenging material and material that is fun to play. 

We walked to Yale on a sunny, 70 degree fall day.  It could not have been more perfect.  I do not know the entire layout of the library, but I know two rooms that I have worked in and they envelope the writer in glorious silence.  The girls actually felt the silence to be strange, which is such as sad commentary on the state of our culture.  I explained that there are so few places where you can go for silence now.  Silence has been stolen from us with the placement of televisions in our line of vision everywhere from at the bank to at the gas station, even in New York City taxicabs.  When silence becomes strange, it is a clear sign that we need to seek it out more often.  

My goal for the girls was to finish chapter 1.  Grace finished.  Lilah worked on revising what she already wrote and then added several more pages. She is not done but she is close, close enough that moving on to chapter 2 will not be too much for her.  Our friend Victoria had a goal to write up to 150 pages in her journal and she met that goal.  

I know that if we sat at home and I asked the girls to write, they may write, but it would be reluctantly.  We have always taken writing outside, to the beach, or to the park.  We have 11 more chapters to write.  That gives us the opportunity to explore many more magical writing locations. 


Anaise said...

What a privilege to have such beautiful places open to you!

LJS said...

I don't think people realize how accessible college campuses are. We have been to libraries at UCONN main campus, Yale, Sacred Heart University and plan to visit many more to work on our writing. Yale just happens to be exceptionally beautiful with it gothic architecture. You can imagine you are living inside Hogwarts.

Karen said...

What a beautiful place to write. How can you not be inspired surrounded by such beauty? I love this.

Theresa B said...

You have me seriously considering One Year Adventure Novel. I've looked at it...but the price is so steep and i am afraid we would abandon it as we've done with other things. Are you writing an adventure novel, too?

Oh, how I long for silence. Our neighbors put in a pool a few years ago and have parties every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the summer (thankfully always over by 7:30-8) but between that and the addition they have been building themselves, I have become VERY aware of all the little noises in my neighborhood - dogs, leaf blowers, mowers, kids, cars. I long for a rural address where I only hear the sounds of nature....

I am actually in a Silent Room at Alexander Library on Rutgers Main Campus right now while Allie is in a meeting.

LJS said...

Theresa, We have a bad track record with curriculum and I was very hesitant to purchase this because of the cost. I sent out an email to all the moms of the kids in my writing group asking them to look at it with their girls. They all replied they liked it and would want to use it for writing group. This is why we are moving along. It is scheduled like a class. Every Tuesday I show videos through Google Hangout and every Friday we share and discuss our writing. The first 6 weeks were tough. We sped up the videos and were watching several every Tuesday and Friday to get to where we are now....the writing. So far I am very pleased with the content and the quality of the work being produced. I have my own theory that writing maturity comes from being exposed to good literature and simply maturing. There has been a huge jump in the maturity of their writing from last year and I'm not sure what to attribute that to since we don't do much with formal writing. This is our first real curriculum.

Little noises are not little. When construction of a new bridge was happening on I95 I thought I would go crazy. We are close enough to hear and the night construction was background noise that kept me from sleep. I love my sleep. There is no easy answer to your issue. You love your home, but the quality of life has changed. I hope you find your answer.


LJS said...

You can't! It's impossible. I love this library and I made it a goal to seek out more college libraries around us.

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