Writing is a solitary pursuit--the imagination guiding the hand moving the pen. I'm pretty old-school, valuing the work of good editors and the revisions process before letting my words go public. But life is short, right? And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to spout off.

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A writer, mother, teacher, friend, I love books, blizzards and beaches, music from Hildegard von Bingen to the Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to The Brood; I love medieval churches, red wine, creme caramel, and roasted beets, and walking the woods and coastlines of home. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Luge Tragedy

Heartbreaking, the death of the luger in Vancouver.
Are extreme-sports enthusiasts hard-wired to be near-suicidal?
You have to wonder. Writing being the extreme opposite--or is it? The worst that can happen, falling off your chair. Getting carpal tunnel syndrome, or a pain in the neck. Or in the arse, when things don't pan out. Scalding your mouth with too-hot coffee. Back problems, possibly. The litany of ailments linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Heart attacks, diabetes, etc etc. The list is potentially endless.
Risk. The things we put our characters up to daily. The places we send them that we would never go. Or would we? Do we?
I'm thinking of a comment, made quite a few years back, by John Irving, about novelists' entitlement to write of grief they haven't "personally" experienced. If you do your emotional homework, he inferred, yes, it is not only possible to write of other's extreme sorrows, but incumbent upon the writer to plumb them.
Extreme empathy = revelation.
Which goes above and beyond ego, I think.
Emptying of the ego. The extremity of the extreme sport of writing.

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