Monday, 15 July 2013

Channelling The Muse

Below is an excerpt from one of my favourite YA books, “Triple Ripple” by Brigid Lowry.  I’ve read this book several times, always marveling at how this three sided story has been fabricated so neatly. It’s almost as though, what they refer to in the rag trade as hidden seams, have been used. I love the story itself and all the characters: The female fairytale protagonist Glory, her teenage reader and the writer.

The other night I picked up the book and it opened to page 113. I read. Then I thought by golly, every writer needs to read this page at random intervals throughout the year. If just to give themselves a break, let go of the angst which comes with trying to produce totally amazing plot- driven-heartwarming-spunky-character- filled-funny-stories, all the time.

Thank you Ms Lowry. (I hope it’s okay to reproduce this. If I’ve broken some rule please let me know.)

“The Writer                        ( from Triple Ripple, page 113).

The writer has been channeling her inner librarian instead of her inner spoonchild, eating plenty of salad but not enough cake. She’s been walking miles in comfy old track pants, but not lounging lazily on her bed in her kimono, reading old magazines. Lately, she hasn’t even allowed herself a teensy-weensy bit of retail therapy. How come she keeps forgetting the obvious? ‘People of the World, Relax!’ as Kurt Vonnegut said. So, the writer gets out her coloured pencils, her Mexican recipe book, her sewing box and wonderful fabrics. She paints a flowerpot turquois, drinks champagne on Wednesday, buys herself some flowers, just because. The more she smiles at her life, the more it smiles back at her, and the more the writing flows.”

Unfortunately I don’t know if I can pull off all of the above. However, I could try lying around in my pj’s with the teenagers these school holidays with a cucumber face-mask on, watching rom coms, drinking berry yoghurt drink out of the bottle while eating sour worms and the cheddar onion kettle fries I said they weren’t allowed for breakfast.

All the while snap-chatting my recently curled eyelashes, commenting on tumblr and facebook, looking at up to the second trends on Pose and Refinery 29, while constantly rechecking the cute photo I posted last night to see how many likes I’ve earned. (nb. average accumulation during waking hours approx 1.5 per minute if you're under 20).

Anything to encourage the elusive kid lit writing muse to visit over the next two weeks, as the house falls under a veil of cracker crumbs, dust bunnies. And NOISE.

Footnote: Brigid Lowry also wrote, Juicy Writing: Inspiration and Techniques for Young Writers.

It probably contains some sage advice for old writers too. $12.87 from Fishpond, includes delivery.

(Hand and bird with pearl pin eyes, carved in soap, by Saskia Leek, Exhibition Dunedin Public Art Gallery)


  1. Ha ha this awesome. Nice work Ms Arctic Pony!

  2. Thanks Melinda! School holidays: relax or go mad. Although I wish I could, four days in and I've used a tank of gas.


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