Archive for the ‘Writing Royalty’ Category

Happy 81st Birthday Anne Frank! (June 12th)
June 11, 2010

I am a HUGE Anne Frank fan. I first read her diary when I was nine-years-old, and as a girl who kept a diary, (and with early writing and publishing aspirations, myself), I always felt I understood her in an added dimension — a dimension shared between writers.

I’ve always thought of Anne as both hero AND writer. In my mind, her diary remains much-needed evidence of how the written word, a sensitive heart, and a brilliant mind can both warm and light the path we travel as humanity.

Here’s a link for last year’s Birthday post, revamped and with a few more photos. What really is amazing, is the age-progressed photo of Anne at 80 … 

 Happy Birthday, Anne Frank! « Lefty In My Write Mind

Happy Birthday, Anne Frank!
June 11, 2009

“Just imagine how forgetful I’ll be when I’m eighty!”

May 11th, 1944.

June 12th happens to be the eightieth birthday of one of the most well-known diarists in history: Anne Frank.

Have you ever imagined what she might have looked like when she grew up, or what she would have become? Would she have been a writer, as she’d pondered in her diary, if only she could write well enough?

April 5th, 1944

I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent …

And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! … I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me! When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?

Anne Frank 

Anne’s diary remains one of the most well-read books in the world, second only to the Bible.

And to think a publisher once rejected the diary with these words:

“The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

Click this link to see an age progressed photograph: Anne Frank at 80.

What was Anne’s full name? Annelies Marie Frank, born June 12th, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Anne and her mother.

Anne and Edith Frank.

(Photos courtesy of the Anne Frank House Museum.)

For information on Anne’s birthday celebration events, or to subscribe to the Museum’s newsletter:

Click here: Anne Frank Museum Amsterdam – the official Anne Frank House website
You could also write Anne a note or leave her your own birthday wishes:
  Anne Frank Tree – An Interactive Monument.   

Here’s To You, Mr. Hemingway.
July 22, 2008

“If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.”

Ernest Hemingway

 

The Hemingway House in Key West, Florida.

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

There are two famous birthdays I always remember: Antonio Vivaldi’s, and Ernest Hemingway’s.

If you’ve never listened to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, then your life is incomplete; but don’t fret. There’s still time. Vivaldi’s birthday is March 4th, and I remember it because I think of it as march forth, as in, march forth and conquer with exquisitely beautiful and brilliant music. Even the horses and donkey love Vivaldi, which I’m prone to blast from the porch as I muck manure in the corral. I swear Donkey even chews in synch with the violins; he’s a very cultured donkey.   

Hemingway’s birthday is even easier to remember because Ernest and I share the same birthday — July 21st. Yesterday, as I opened presents and ate cake, I toasted Mr. Hemingway as I always do, and vowed to read A Moveable Feast. I envisioned swinging in the huge rope hammock on the porch, nibbling slices of apple and cheese and reading the good parts aloud to the terriers.

 

(Photo by Marc Averette, courtesy of Wikipedia)

I can’t think of Hemingway without thinking of his band of polydactyl (six-toed) cats, happily petable and weaving between my legs. A few years back, I was lucky enough to visit the Hemingway house in Key West, which now houses the descendants of the cats he left behind. Lagging behind on the tour, I even laid down on his bed, (shhhhhhhh), when no one was left in his bedroom but me. 

 Key West – HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM

There’s a beautiful piece of art on the bureau, a gift from his friend Pablo Picasso, and of course, as a writer, the other thing that stood out was his typewriter. It was easy to picture him sitting in front of it, pounding away. It’s said his favorite was the Royal portable typewriter, the Quiet Deluxe model.

 

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia) 

He even frequented Sloppy Joe’s, a famous restaurant/bar which I have to agree has excellent food and ambiance. Following his old haunts, you almost expect to see him nod hello as he passes on the streets, or find him sitting next to you at the bar, passing the salt and ketchup.

So many of our great minds succumb to depression, and worse, suicide, as did Ernest Hemingway on July 2nd, 1961, just weeks before his 62nd birthday. A memorial in Ketchum, Idaho is inscribed with his own words: 

“Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
Now he will be a part of them forever.”

Ernest Hemingway – Idaho – 1939

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hemingway. You knew the secret writers have always known — through words there is immortality for mere mortals, minus the storms that plague us and free of the minds wired to create and destroy so exquisitely.

I bet you’d smile to see people reading your work on their Kindles. I wonder what computer you’d prefer — laptop or PC, Mac or Windows?     

A Spider Funeral.
June 25, 2008

  “We need heart to heart resuscitation.”

Ram Dass

 What are you reading, today? After finishing The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden, I’m now reading another novel of hers, An Episode of Sparrows.

If she were still alive, I’d send her a fan letter and thank her for her wonderful mind.

Much like oxygen, food and water are necessary to survival, so are words and thoughts and books. I believe books can change people, and therefore, the world. Also, sometimes that better world we wish for can be found inside the minds of our favorite writers, and that’s something. It isn’t everything, but it’s a lot.

Really, aren’t we all writers, now? Especially with the advent of email, instant messages and text messaging, we live on a planet of writers. We all get a taste of creativity each time we peck out the letters and hit “send”.

Maybe even, sometimes, things happen to us for the sole purpose of being written down. For instance, waking up on top of a large spider, now a spider-pancake, with two dismembered legs stuck to your own leg. (It was a spider minding its own business, most likely, having burrowed under the covers while I was out flaking horses or getting the mail, on a quest for warmth in the frosty, air-conditioned bedroom.)

Or, how about the panty-liner flying out the front door, (you know that’s not what those wings are for), getting mixed-up with a pre-monsoon wind only to end its journey stuck to the leg of the UPS man?

Let me backtrack: some people say terriers are difficult to housetrain; for mine, that’s true. I found these nifty potty pants (or, “big-boy pants” as we tell the dogs) which they sleep in at night. For ongoing potty-training and a clean house, this product is a godsend. Called “Simple Solution”, they wrap around the offending part and stay snugly in place thanks to a velcro closure.

Inside, you fit an absorbent pad to circumvent any accidents, but those pads are a lot less expensive if you buy women’s generic panty-liners, instead. And so goes the story of the flying panty-liner, the blushing UPS man and the quick explanation he most likely thought I’d made up like fiction, on the spot.

I’ll save the story of the relocation of seven desert toads for next time. In the meantime, this site is only two days old, spanking new and full of promise. With all there is in the world to demand our time and attention, you’re here, reading? Thank you. I’ll keep you here in spirit, too, at the spider funeral at sundown. Who knew a silver-blue earring box could make such a fitting coffin?

Welcome to my blog!
June 25, 2008

 “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

What I hope my penchant for writing becomes, is a catalyst — a catalyst for thinking, and a welcome intrusion that breaks down the walls that separate us from each other. If you see something differently, or experience an epiphany from some thought pinned down on these pages, then my wish has come true.

From a very young age, I’ve been fascinated with the parallel universes that unfold through the books we read. Books serve so many wonderful purposes: taking us off to places we never imagined, and never forget; opening our eyes; making us laugh, cry, and think; doubling as teachers; offering us guidance; besides bringing us love, comfort, beauty, wisdom, and truth. Books are such good company; the magic between the pages of a good book is one of those rare, sure things in life. 

Life has been hectic, lately, for so many of us. In this fast-paced world of worry and work, wars and natural disasters (along with the smaller, inevitable, every day kinds) stress can be like the houseguest who never leaves. A good book is like balm.

A few days ago, and in celebration of having finished my own novel, I went on a book-binge; one of the books I ordered, The Diddakoi, by Rumer Godden, I hadn’t read since childhood. Excitedly haunting the window in anticipation of the UPS man, and having read the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books version years ago, I was even happier knowing I’d be reading parts and passages not included previously. 

Unwrapping the package and smelling the old, old pages, I lovingly placed the book on my night table and went about feeding the dogs and the horses, my husband and myself, along with other odd jobs such as folding the laundry, mopping the kitchen and filling horses’ water buckets. Finally, with the dogs worn out and snoring under the covers, I settled in to read my newest treasure.    

Engrossed, I read the entire 148 pages in one sitting, staying up late like when I was a girl. I fell in love again with the crisp writing style and emotionally smart story which pulls on the heartstrings. Propped up against the pillows, I cried on and off all the way to the end. Finally looking up and catching myself in the mirror across the room, I had to laugh at myself. I may have even hugged the book close, as the magical ride came to an end. 

Now, that’s good therapy, at $5.95 for three hours. The best writers pull us into a world that often fills those empty places within us, including the ones we didn’t know existed. Who knew books had so much power? (We do, we do!)