Sometimes, you’re looking for a how-to book. Other times, what you need is a how-I book. This is one of those.
Writers face turning points every day, dozens of times. Even the most minor scene has repercussions: everything is a write of passage.
It’s also, as jobs go, remarkably lonesome, since few of us have colleagues in the next cubicle. A book like this helps. It gets to the heart of who we as writers are, how we see our lives, what we do about the next phase (whether the Work in Progress is a story, or a life.) It’s about community, about finding a family—which is what I wrote my essay about:
We tend to forget, caught up as we are in the hurly-burly of daily life, the extraordinary nature of our times. To a very real degree, we have taken a step not so much outside our physical identities, but in addition to “real life”. We grow families that are linked not by genetic material, but by the connections themselves.
This is a lovely book, both in appearance and in essence. Appropriately, proceeds go to support the community that gave it birth, under the guidance of Hank Phillipi Ryan, last year’s president: Sisters in Crime.