Odd thoughts on writing

I’m revising today, staring at the screen and perhaps that brings the odd thoughts. For instance:

1. Did it ever strike you as odd that black marks on a page (or screen) arranged in certain ways can bring an emotional, even visceral response? Of course sometimes they can put you to sleep, but at their best, those marks go to the eye, the brain, and move your whole body.

2. Now one could say the same about painting. What’s so special about dots or dabs of color, but there’s nothing inherently beautiful or even visually interesting about typical text on a page.

3. And for revision, isn’t it amazing (and humbling) that you can bring a piece of work as far as you honestly think it can go. As if you’ve brought it to a solid wall. Then a good reader makes a comment, shares an observation — “This makes me feel X” — and slowly a door opens and you see another field you can enter. Or to wildly mix a metaphor, you see how you can go deeper, closer to the bone. You truly couldn’t see that before.
It’s all so amazing.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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