Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Isabel Allende and me!

Before I tell you what Isabel Allende and I have in common [apart from writing] I want to thank P&D from TW for acknowledging my wearing of and dancing in High Heels on New Year's Eve, see comments in last post. However the OH wants to know what you mean by S&M, was it just a typo or is he missing something!!!!!!!!

In my last post I didn't make it clear that it was in fact my Blogiversary on the 8th January, three years to the day. I think I have mentionned before that I get an e-mail every day from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. It has a poem and gives the birthdays of poets and writers from around the world along with interesting facts about them. It was from this that I read about Virginia Dare[see previous post,btw how can I put in a link to a previous post can anyone advise me?] Anyway in the e-mail for the 8th January there was a piece about Isabel Allende, already one of my favourite authors. On the 8th January 1981 she heard that her beloved Grandfather was dying so she sat down to write him a letter, it became the novel 'The House of Spirits.' Since then it has become a sacred day for her to start a new book, apparently she gets up early and goes alone to her office and lights candles for the 'spirits and muses'. She surrounds herself with fresh flowers and incense and meditates then tries to write the first sentence in a trance as if somebody else is writing through her. That first sentence opens a door into an unknown world that she must explore with her characters. She doesn't have an outline and doesn't look back at what she has written until the first draft is finished. She starts a new novel every 8th January!! She carries a notebook with her at all times and constantly takes notes, keeps interesting newspaper articles and writes down stories other people tell her, then she looks at all her notes for inspiration.
Oh if only I could say that my 8th January was as productive, but reading about how she prepares herself for a new work is inspirational and instructive. I have read many of her books including Paula, a memoir she wrote for her daughter who lay dying in hospital.
On a lighter note we have atleast one other thing in common a love of food and cooking, and cooking for love. Her delicious book 'Aphrodite, a memoir of the senses[1997]' is a cookery book with a difference. It incites the senses with its beautiful language and sensuality and the recipes are to be prepared with love for lovers. Even without the recipes this is a book to savour again and again. That book was published in her 55th year and she is still writing amazing books. Such a talented lady.


liz fenwick said...

I love the way she begins her books - in a way I do the same but it's just the outcome that is the problem!

Thanks for sharing it. You have inspired me for the day.

Anonymous said...

So interesting reading your description of her work....and seeing your 1st draft complete.....well done!!! Just amazing!!!
luv Jackie

Debs said...

I love the idea of sitting with flowers and incense and letting my muse take over. Unfortunately I don't think it would work quite so well in the shed. Or maybe it will?

To link to a previous post - I hope this is right - go to the actual post, click on the title of the post, then in your top ??thingy?? copy the link, then go back to the new post you're writing, highlight the word/s where you want to be in the post, click on the chain link square above your post and then paste in the link. Hopefully that'll work.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sheepish
No typo. Perhaps the OH just hasn't noticed what he thinks he's missing!!

DJ Kirkby said...

That cookbook title is amazing. I MUST buy it now. x