Monday, January 18, 2010

Mentors

Someone, possibly someone who writes, sent me an email: "Don't miss reading Mentors, Muses & Mentors: Thirty Writers and the People Who Changed Their lives edited by Elizabeth Benedict."

After checking our library consortium and finding a few copies in the system— all out— I requested the book .

The book arrived on Friday, unpretentious on the outside, but on the inside a writer's delight. My notes fill several pages of a black Fabriano Quadrato Artist's Journal. Writers quoted their mentors and muses and books that propelled them into writing or sustained their writing.

Susan Sontag: "You have to care about every comma."

Gordan Lish: "Your first sentence ordains your world..."

Gordan Lish: "As writers you must try to keep yourselves alive, vibrant. Act as if you have never tasted the spinach."

Elizabeth Benedict quotes her teacher, "The only thing I can do for you is to suggest books to read."

I've compiled a list of books to read and the following Mark Twain quote is taped to my desk.

"...hugging the shore." If I'm hugging the shore I'm not taking risks with my writing.

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