Monday, January 4, 2010

The Blank Page

Happy New Year and congratulations to all who won books during our 12 days of Christmas giveaway. We hope it added to your holiday enjoyment. Soon we will announce the details of our second Audience With an Agent contest, and we anticipate many more wonderful entries. Polish up that manuscript and stay tuned!

What a privilege to write the first post of the new year at Novel Matters. Today I have a helper - Neville. We are pet-sitting for our daughter, and this guy's a real sweetheart. He generally gets bossed around by our two female cats who treat him shamefully. He's a literary cat (named after Neville Longbottom) and the first cat I've ever known to have the hiccups. Anyway, I digress...

We stand at the beginning of a new year. For some, it's a bright new year full of possibilities, but for others it's intimidating in its dark potential. You may see on the horizon the road dust of issues headed your way. Rest assured that God is in control and He can sculpt story from the events of your life. For good or...not so good, this is a year in your story. Whether you're a writer or a reader, this would be a good time to sharpen your pencil, bend your ear to the voice and write furiously. The blank page of the new year will fill, and we are entrusted with the telling of it, even if it is to simply remind ourselves that our Lord is faithful.

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) says in her short story 'The Blank Page' (from her book Last Tales):
Where the story-teller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence.

What authors would you say are true to story and hear the voice of silence when the book is done?

May God bless you richly in the new year, and may we be loyal story-tellers!


Latayne C Scott said...

You mean, which authors other than you, Debbie; and Katy and Patti and Bonnie and Sharon?

I'd have to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald did, and Toni Morrison does, and Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates (I'm thinking of Black Water, in particular.)

Kathleen Popa said...

I recently listened to the audiobook of Babette's Feast - AGAIN. What a little diamond of a story! I'd say Dinesen must have danced to the song of silence when she finished that one.

It's almost unfair of me to mention this book, it's so obscure, but my husband was given for Christmas a rare copy of Serenade to the Big Bird (No Sesame Street jokes, please!), a WWII memoir by fighter pilot Bert Stiles. George insisted I read Chapter 8, and the writing was so exquisite I was stunned to silence when I finished. If you happen to track the book down, don't let the graphic imagery of the first paragraphs of that chapter stop you from reading on. It gets better, and it all ties in.

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Pshaw, Latayne. Your name should be top of the heap.
Katy, that reminds me to get Babette's Feast. I really need to make a list of books before I go back to the library. I walk in the door and become overwhelmed and intoxicated and forget what I was looking for...

Carla Gade said...

Happy New Year to all of you!! I was chomping at the bit waiting to "see" you all again, but certainly hope you each enjoyed a nice time in joy and refreshment.

This has already been a great year so far beginning with a submission and the forming of a new critique group. I have a blank journal and I've started filling the pages already and hope it will chart some of my activities on the way to publication. I'm hoping to be able to include an entry to the audience with an agent contest.

Debbie, that is a powerful question. I don't know if I can answer that one, but it is worth considering.

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Carla, it sounds like you're off to a great start! We'll look forward to your entry in the Audience with an Agent contest.