I’m sitting at a desk in a spare bedroom at my parent’s house. If I lean over and look out the window I can see a stretch of sand, a dune, and just a peek of the ocean.It’s so beautiful here.As my friend Katie would say: Bliss this is.
I’ve spent the last few days here, visiting family, playing rounds of competitive Baggo, drinking, eating, and sitting on the beach watching the restless ocean.I’ve also done quite a bit of reading, namely Alice Munro’s Selected Stories.It’s a book I have to finish by Wednesday for my Lit class, a 662 page fat thing filled with a mostly random (according to the author) mix of Munro’s stories.In the introduction she talks a bit about her craft, a bit about the choices she makes when writing… the how and why certain stories came into being. It’s pretty fascinating to read.The early stories feel very different than the later ones, almost as if a different author, or stylist (not that Munro is heavy with style, but style is always there) wrote them.Some say her earlier work is more imitative of greats like Carson McCullers and Flannery O’ Connor, while she comes into her own with the newer pieces.
In the introduction, Munro also talks about why she writes mostly about Canada. She gives a very simple reason: “The reason I write so often about the country of the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.”It made me think about how most of my stories are placed right here, in this very town I’m visiting. It’s where I spent my summers growing up. It’s where I learned to swim (in the cold river, sometimes lessons were at 5 in the morning because of the tide), where I made life long friends, where I fell in love with the beach, the ocean, this simple way of living (there is only a tiny corner store, a post office, a gift shop, and fire station in the town).I write about this town because I love it.And when I am away from it—which most of the time I am—I can visit it in my stories. I can also see it from a distance complete with all its beauty and ruggedness.
I love hearing about how others come to write what they write. Is it a place that inspires? A particular theme?An obsession? All of the above?The writing process is so mysterious, so interesting, and so rich with its own stories…
Now I’m off to sip some ice coffee and read more Munro on the deck that overlooks the river side of town.I still have 400 some pages to go and I don’t so much mind.
Quote of the Day:
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth