Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Perils of the Wi-Free

from Jacqueline

This will be a short post, mainly because I'm two days late. I wasn't able to gain access to the internet on Friday to accomplish the act of posting my blog. Part of it is my fault, and part of it is just the way of the world. You need more than dial-up to post a blog (well, I do anyway), and my laptop is not wi-fi enabled. The reason for this is that the poor old thing is all of four years old now, so cannot be updated to fill this void in my online life. And I refuse to ditch a laptop that is perfectly good in every other way. I know I will crumble soon and make the investment - a brand spanking new imac to replace the senior citizen ibook, but all the time my horse is in the equine hospital (yes, still ... the CT scanner is still broken so they've put off the scan again), I daren't even think of buying a new computer. I do have something ready to go, which I will endeavor to post next week, assuming I can access email - as you know I'm on my book tour, just landed in Minneapolis, you betcha.

It's been really great so far, meeting readers and talking about what inspires me to write my novels. Just a few days ago I recounted a conversation I'd had with Our Cornelia and Cara Black in the summer (gosh, has summer passed already?). It wasn't on a panel, but over coffee in San Jose, and we were talking about the passions that inspired our writing. As each of us recounted that occasion when we knew we had to write a certain story, simply remembering the moment seemed to inspire each of us all over again, and I have to say simply listening to Cara and Cornelia all but brought me to tears. Writing our novels might have been a way of seeing justice done, a way of remembering good times and bad, or a process to make sense of something terrible, and we had all come to it through our storytelling. I love to recount that conversation, because you can see the readers reconsidering what they've read, perhaps making the comment that they'd go back and read something again, or that the story made them think about the world in a different way. One of the readers made a comment, when I talked about that conversation with Cornelia and Cara, that the power of healing was inherent in storytelling. I've thought about that before, and I've been thinking about it again a lot today, as I shuttled on and off 'planes, waited in lines and wondered about the world. And the thing is, because I'm a storyteller, I don't think I will stop mulling it over for some time - even (or maybe especially) if I'm writing comedy - because there is so much healing to be done.

That's it from me, Our Jacqueline, the Late One ....

5 comments:

  1. Hi Jacqueline!
    I was wondering where you'd gotten to. :-D And hoping that you were well and looking after yourself.
    In this age of visual gratification, people forget that words still have meaning and power to them. It's one of the reasons that I read incredible amounts - usually in short spurts of time. I have a core of books in my collection that I will never part with - ones that move me, speak to my soul or give me a sense of comfort. Sometimes I know the reason why, and sometimes I don't. Your Maise Dobbs novels were added to that core shelf of five/six authors - to the books that I know I will reread on a regular basis. Aside from Maisie herself, something in your words speaks to some spark within me: the something in me that mourns the passing of innocence, the loss of so many young men and women when my country was still young, so many possibles that will never be - for the living and the dead alike. The last ANZAC soldier (Australia New Zealand Army Corp) died a few years back, but Australia still mourns her dead sons and daughters these many years on. I was at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra two years ago, over the Anzac Day weekend in April. And was moved to tears that families still came in groups to place red flanders poppies beside the names of family lost in WWI, in the hall of memory. The roster of honoured lost goes back to the Boer War and a bit earlier, I think.
    Words, even names, still have power in this sterile technicological age. If you haven't seen the movie, V For Vendetta, then - no matter what your political leaning - please do. The speech about the power of words and immortality of ideas strikes a chord.
    Meanwhile, great to hear from you Jackie. I wish I could catch up with you on this tour, but I'm travelling in the opposite direction when ever you get near to our section of the country. Sigh
    Cheers
    Marianne
    PS: Hope Sara is comfortable, if not better.

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  2. That was indeed a wonderful conversation, and I think of it often--as well as the panel that you and David Corbett and Tony Broadbent did at Book Passage this summer (on "The Arc of Grief," for those who missed it). Incredible stuff, and, yes, healing.

    I hope your travels go well and safely, Our J!

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  3. Hi Maryann,

    When I was reading yours and Jacqueline's postings I was reminded of going to Washington DC in 1992. While there I was walking down the mall towards the Washington Monument I passed the Aids Quilts that were laid out on the mall grass. As we were passing, they were reading the names of everyone who had passed from Aids. It was silent on the mall as people milled around and it was then I heard the names of several acquaintances that I had no idea had passed. Your description of the poppies reminded me of this event. Simple words that were sobering and which brought me back to center. It's this moment I return to when I'm counting my blessings.
    Safe journeys, safe home.

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  4. Hi Maryann,

    When I was reading yours and Jacqueline's postings I was reminded of going to Washington DC in 1992. While there I was walking down the mall towards the Washington Monument I passed the Aids Quilts that were laid out on the mall grass. As we were passing, they were reading the names of everyone who had passed from Aids. It was silent on the mall as people milled around and it was then I heard the names of several acquaintances that I had no idea had passed. Your description of the poppies reminded me of this event. Simple words that were sobering and which brought me back to center. It's this moment I return to when I'm counting my blessings.
    Safe journeys, safe home.
    Burbsmom

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  5. Hi Burbsmom!
    Whenever a name, no matter its age or lifetime, or a word is spoken - or whispered or shouted - it lives. It retains the power to affect people - one way or another. For a few infinitesimal moments, you were 'one' with a bunch of other people listening to words, names, and were affected by it. A minute change to the fabric of 'you'. :-)
    The phrase 'Gone, but not forgotten' seems approriate, no?
    Cheers
    Marianne

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