I accidentally bought the recording of The Thalia Bookclub on Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, instead of the audiobook, many moons ago. After disparaging my intelligence, I then figured out how to actually get the book.
It’s actually mainly an interview of the author Susanna Clarke with Neil Gaiman, so the other day I turned it on to listen to as I went on my morning walk. (Turns out it’s great and my money was not wholly wasted!)
Something that struck me in her bio is that she’s another writer who grew up moving around. In her case, as the child of a Methodist minister. But be it as an Army Brat, pastor’s kid, or just a dad moving ahead of “restructuring” in his company (me), a lot of writers seem to have grown up on the fringes.
Maybe not even because of moves. Books are a shelter because they take you into their world unstintingly.
I played Little League baseball and soccer in one house, became a Scottish Highland dancer after a move, then moved somewhere there were no teachers. Went to Japan and joined the softball club, came back to the US and eventually took up yoga. I couldn’t find my identity in these location-based pastimes.
But my journals and books? They moved with me.
I think that’s why I loved fantasy and eventually realized it’s what I wrote. People were in motion, and their lives were changing. That life I understood.
I read Robin McKinley’s bio of books she read where, and saw myself, currently working through the Silmarillion in Japan.
My two favorite releases from this year (so far–I’m not ahead on my reading) are two books that involve girls on the move:
Rebel of the Sands and Girl from Everywhere
Both different in tone and subgenre, I loved them not only for reflecting a reality I knew. Their writers clearly knew what it was to be the girl on the fringes, too.
Maybe someday our peregrinations will cross.
Do you share traits with people you admire, who do the work you want to do? Make this your journalling prompt for the day!
And then sign up for MoJo, with daily journalling prompts like this to help you look into your creative process and history, before registration closes on Friday.