Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Um, what?

One of my favorite authors is Andrée Seu. She writes a column for each edition of World Magazine, and she has two books out, both compilations of her essays. My first impression of her was, well, mixed, mainly because I didn’t get her. She occasionally uses words I must look up and often references Bible stories I’ve never read. So to say I felt stupid while reading her one page columns is no understatement.

But the longer I read her the more I understand – she is quite extraordinary. My vocabulary is expanding thanks to her, and the more I read her the more I want to read better books (she’s constantly quoting Lewis and Bonhoeffer and obsure Old Testament prophets) and, ultimately, she make me want to write.

One of her essays is all about becoming a better writer. She offers many excellent helps. Perhaps the hardest for me to follow is to write what I want to write, then cut 50%. And one of the best things she suggested was to keep a pad handy so when good ideas hit you can jot them down to be remembered later. That advice, like exercise more, eat less, save more, spend less, sounds easy to do yet I keep putting it off.

However, after last night, when, as I was drifting off to sleep, I had an excellent idea and figured, “Hey, I’ll remember it in the morning!” and yet here it is, morning, and I cannot, for the life of me, remember anything I was thinking about before my eyes shut for the night – well, now that that happened last night (and believe me, it wasn't the first time) I finally have a little yellow note pad and pen on my nightstand.

I thought I’d have to be a whole lot older before my mind started going like this. And if I’m experiencing this now I guess a few years from now I’ll have little yellow pads all over the place. I just hope I remember what they're for.