ll those years I was working, doing journalism and fiction, I would come home from a day of journalism, take a nap, and be able to get two or three hours of fiction writing in. The replenishing thing that comes with a nap — you end up with two mornings in a day.
Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin. He finally got his name from an Elvis Costello song … on Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours and Rendezvous. It’s performed by Was (Not Was) and is the story of two men named Shadow and Jimmy. I … tried it on for size … ‘… Shadow stretched uncomfortably on his prison cot, and glanced across at the Wild Birds of North America wall calendar, with the days he’d been inside crossed off, and he counted the days until he got out.’ And once I had a name, I was ready to begin.
Well meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading - do not discourage children from reading because you feel they’re reading the wrong thing. There is no such thing as the wrong thing to be reading and no bad fiction for kids.
How did I not know about this system? It sounds perfect for my needs - an all-in-one pen and paper system that captures EVERYTHING in one place. Organized but with the flexibility to adapt it any way I like.
People associate [discipline] with having to do what they’re told. But discipline is quite a lovely word. It comes from the same root as disciple, and it means seeing yourself through the eyes of the teacher who loves you. We have that teacher within ourselves …