I guess I will just write about whatever comes into my head at this point. I am thinking a little bit about color and about beauty, but that’s seems drastically whimsical and even annoying. I do believe that there are real, weighty, important statements yet to be made about color, but I’m not sure that I’m the one to make them or that tonight is that night. It is interesting to listen to writers talk about words, and in the same way, to artists talk about color. I have a new friend named Will who is an artist, and when he talks about color, I know that he has a relationship with color the same way that I have a relationship with words. They are our territories; they are our joys.
Words, to me, are possibilities. I think of all the many ways that words can line up, like a puzzle that has an infinite number of solutions, and about the way that particular words in particular orders can create a light or dark tone, the way background music makes a scary movie even scarier. A writer’s job is to align the words to her desire—whether that is in the most pleasurable way, or the most disturbing, or the most endearing.
Today I met with a prospective student who said that she liked to write. I immediately got excited (as I always do) and took a break from discussing the college search and possible majors to discuss what truly interests me – what kind of writing does she like to do, what are some of her favorite books, favorite authors? When I taught a class at camp last week, I asked the campers to introduce themselves and to share what they were passionate about. When someone would say, “books,” or “reading,” I wanted to pause the entire class to have conversations about our mutual friends – Lucy and Edmund, Harry and Hermione, Liesel and Rudy and Max.
I know that there are some people who read a book once and then the book is over for them—they cannot enjoy it again because they already know what happens. I feel sorry for those people. I love to re-read favorite books. It is like spending time with an old friend, reminiscing. It is, of course, wonderful to discover new favorites, to be on the edge of one’s seat, not knowing what is coming next, but I find that I get so into old favorites that I end up on the edge of my seat anyway. I am stressed literally every time I relive the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a little ridiculous, but I wouldn’t change it. I experience books. Sometimes something lovely will jump up off the page and tap me on the shoulder, and I have to stand and admire it for awhile. I hope that, in time, my own writing will wave to people from the page, will make them stop and stare.