Lois Lowry's Blog

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Creativity

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 03 April 2008 in Uncategorized

Max_painting_houses


A while back I posted a photo of the painting my daughter gave me for my March 20th birthday, a painting of a San Francisco street (she lives in SF) and now here is a picture if her actually working on the painting.

And thinking about that made me remember another painting of hers...this one done when she was in fourth grade many years ago. It won a prize in a city-wide children's art show, and it has been hanging in my guest bedroom now for a long time.


Maxs_cat

It was a painting of her cat, whose name was Betsy, with a litter of kittens. If you click to enlarge it you can appreciate the very self-satisfied look on the mother cat, and the pink paw pads.

Fun to have creative children, and all of my children are, or were. Grandchildren, as well, come to think of it.

On Saturday I head to Detroit, and from there to Flint, Michigan, where I will spend all day Sunday. So today and tomorrow I am at my desk, plugging away on a book manuscript. Someone asked me recently if it was difficult coming and going and being interrupted mid-writing so much. Actually, it serves me well, I think, because breaking off doesn't mean the ideas disappear or dissipate. It gives them a chance to be worked on at a sub-conscious level. I might write steadily for a couple of days...then head off, as I am this weekend...but my brain is still working on that plot and those characters. When I get back to it, and to them, as I will on Tuesday, they will be enhanced, re-worked. That's what usually happens, at least. Not always, of course; but more often than not.

Back to the cat painting: I remember my daughter confiding in me (she was eight) that the painting started out to be a whale. The gray curve of the cat's back was supposed to be the body of the whale. But suddenly, she said, it began to look like her cat.

The same thing happens, actually, in writing. You think a plot is going to turn left...and then suddenly, it seems as if it has turned right, or wants to. And usually it is a good thing to follow along where it wants to go. It is not a good idea to force a cat to become a whale when what it really wants to be is a cat.


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Comments

Guest
Anne Monday, 29 November 1999

I understand the concept of the lightweight blurb, as I often interpret them in such a light, but there are still occassions when I unwillingly fall under the spell of an admired author's words.
The Portland view makes me regret that I never paid a visit to my aunt's ninth floor Portland apartment with a view over the harbor before she moved to Scarborough. I still miss the visits to Portland's Green Grocer shop that were the preparation for a week of island time in Cascc Bay. Now we tend to
go farther down east, but still miss those Portland supply stops.

Guest
Karin Monday, 29 November 1999

I somehow ended up being the person to pick out my husband's books from the library, and I actually use the blurbs to discover new mystery authors. It is surprisingly useful.

Guest
Caroline Monday, 29 November 1999

Ms. Lowry,
At school, we just finished reading the triology The Giver,etc. We are now doing a report on you. On of the requirements is to name something you think know one else will know about you but you. I would like to know one fact about you that is relativly unknown.
Thank you,
Caroline

Guest
rhonda Monday, 29 November 1999

at school we are doing a report about you.
do you have anything funny to share with us

Guest
Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Something funny? Hmmmm. Once I was a contestant on the TV show "Jeopardy. They made us go and get make-up put on. When the make-up lady was doing me, she got a phone call and forgot to do my second eyebrow. So I was on the show with one (fake) brown eyebrow and one (real) blond eyebrow.
Does that qualify as something funny?

Guest
rhonda Monday, 29 November 1999

yes that qualifies as something funny

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