Friday, April 20, 2012

Anne + Cleveland

This week I saw Anne Lamott!  She was the fifth author of six for the Writers Center Stage series which Jim gave me for my birthday, one of my favorite gifts ever.  Check-out their lineup for next year. 

Of all of the authors, I was most looking forward to hearing Anne Lamott. Like so many, Anne's books on faith were significant in shaping my faith.  She helped me understand grace- Jesus- out of the chapters and verses and into the messiness and warmth and grit of humanity.  And she has the most wonderful and self-deprecating sense of humor which seems to be an element tragically missing in the Church- and everywhere.

She spoke mostly on writing, and a little on faith.  Here are a couple of my favorites from my notes:

On Writing:

 [Creativity] needs structure and discipline.  "I don't ever feel like writing."  The only way to begin anything is to start where you are.  It doesn't happen "when . .. (I have more time, the kids are older, I retire . ..etc.)  There is only today.  Don't be a person of regret.

No one cares if you write.  You have to feel that it is a sacred task.  YOU have to care that it gets done. Everybody needs you to help them.  It is better for everybody if you don't write (or-____); if you don't find your creative side.

Let yourself do it badly.  It's ok.  You can write your terrible paragraph.  Just get it down.

Write what you would love to come upon.

On Faith:

Grace is the moments of self-forgetfulness.
Grace is something bigger and trip-ier than I-Self-Me. (Get out of ME)!
Grace is WD40 when you're stuck.
Grace is fresh air, buoyancy, the crack in the wall through which light shines.

Anne Lamott talks just the way she writes; funny, honest, endearing.  I wish she were a blogger.  Or my next door neighbor.

Also this week I finally got to visit Cleveland favorites Great Lakes Brewing and West Side Market.    I love this city!

I finished Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler this week.  It was ok.  She reminds me of a female John Updike: I don't love her writing or even really enjoy it, but I respect it.

Tonight is Pizza Night (I'm trying this).  Happy Friday!


Brandee Shafer said...

I've loved Anne Lamott ever since 95 or 96 when I took a creative writing class and had to read Bird by Bird. And her writing's only gotten better with time!

Ruth said...

I saw a video the other day of Anne Lamott speaking. I think that's the first time I had heard her voice although I've read lots of her writing. Wish I could have been there to hear her with you! Sounds like she was wonderful.

I haven't read any Anne Tyler in a long time, though I read a bunch of her books at one time. I just saw she'd come out with a new one but it didn't sound very interesting to me.