Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I've been rereading one of the very first chapter books I ever read, "The Cat Who Wished To Be A Man." I must have been six, and I know I checked it out from the public library. I remember being in (what I thought of as) the adult section. The shelves were taller there, and the books thicker. In retrospect, it must have been the YA section. And, the copy of "The Cat Who Wished To Be A Man" that I'm reading now is nothing like thick.

When I reached back through my fading memories and pulled out the title of that book I vaguely remembered with a cat begging his master, a magician, to turn him into a man... I had hoped that actually reading the book would pull the memories closer. I thought I might feel a sense of resonance with my six-year-old self while reading it.

Alas, while the overall story is mildly familiar, it doesn't actually feel like a book I've read before. Sometimes, revisiting a book, or a piece of music, or an actual place can take you back -- for a moment, you feel like you're the same person as when you first visited it. But, six-years-old is too far away. The memories I have of this book (although definitely authentic, as I've never talked about it before) don't feel substantially different from false memories I have of my mom's childhood, created by listening to her stories so many times.

I wonder where the tether broke... If I had the time, I might sample re-reading books from different periods of my life, and find out how far back that sense of resonance can stretch. Of course, the experiment would be complicated by trying to remember enough books from different times in my life that felt significant enough to warrant that kind of resonance... And, like I said, I don't really have the time.

Well, perhaps I'll experiment in the other direction: in another twenty years, I'll read "The Cat Who Wished To Be A Man" again, and find out if the tether stretches farther through adulthood.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

There is something magical about taking a square sandwich and turning it into four, smaller, triangular sandwiches.
One of the best parts of being a writer: being sent the link to a nearly finished anthology that will have one of my stories in it.

Actually, there's been a lot of good bits about being a writer this week. For one, I was asked to write an afterword for the story, "Rekindle the Sun," in this anthology. That was a first. I got to reread "Rekindle the Sun" with an eye towards what it meant to me, and then write a mini-essay about that. Doing so made me particularly curious about what kind of take all the other authors in Belong: Interstellar Immigration Stories had on the theme.

I can't wait to read their stories!