Friday, December 15, 2006

Loving Margaret Atwood

I went to the book store yesterday. Nothing makes me feel better than going to a bookstore, being surrounded by juicy gems of talent that actually made it through this whole grueling process and now sit proudly snuggled up against each other, enjoying their success. I don't think my daughter, who accompanied me, fully appreciates the desire burning in my little heart to have my words snuggled up against the others, because she actually said to me, "Wow, Mom, wouldn't it be kinda cool to be standing here looking at your book on the shelf one day." Sigh.

Yes, honey, it would be kinda cool.

So, anyway, I told myself I would not buy any books, I was just going to breath and rejuvenate and get my focus back.

I bought a book.

It wasn't even one on my twenty-four long must-buy book list. But, as it turns out, it was the right time to buy it.

ORYX AND CRAKE.

I've picked this book up a half a dozen times over the years and thought, "Hmmm, this looks interesting." Didn't seem to be the right time to read it. I've also picked up the HANDMAID'S TALE and didn't feel I was in the right frame of mind to make it through in one emotional piece.

I'm not done with it yet, I'm about half-way through. But, the amazing thing to me is that I haven't found Margaret Atwood before now. Her prose make me salivate:
"It's discouraging how grubby everyone gets without mirrors. Still, they're amazingly attractive, these children-each one naked, each one perfect, each one a different skin colour-chocolate, rose, tea, butter, cream, honey-but each with green eyes. Crake's aesthetic."

Definitely a lover of words.

And let's not even mention the science, which she slips in unobtrusively. Hmmm, okay-let's.

My inspiration for THE MOTHERCODE was an article I read about scientists inserting jelly-fish genes into rabbits and getting glow-in-the-dark bunnies. I was amazed. I put them in my book.

ORYX AND CRAKE takes place in the future where these glow-in-the-dark bunnies have escaped and run rampant, glowing and breeding in the wild like...well, like rabbits. She also has the "scientists creating disease and then cures" theme.

Her father and, I believe, her brother were biologists which is why I think the science seems so natural, not in the spotlight but an important part of the background. No preaching, yet big lessons to think about.

I'm glad I picked this book up. It was the right time. It's both a neon sign pointing me in the direction I want to take my writing and a moment of rest and enjoyment as a reader.

Must go finish!

3 comments:

Rashenbo said...

Heheh, interesting. I found you on backspace and thought I'd pop over and see your blog. So, Hi! Nice to meet you.

Christian said...

What is the old adage? When the student is ready, a teacher will appear. I've always found that if I'm making decisions that are intrisinsically right for my life, things tend to fall into place as they should.

How exciting that you've "discovered" Atwood's poetry. I felt that intense feeling when I read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. These writers are why I strive to be the best writer I can.

Shannon said...

I know exactly what you mean, Christian...this brings to mind my favorite word: serendipity. I'm trying to be more aware of this,as it does seem things fall into place like puzzle pieces if you're where you're suppose to be. "...a teacher will appear." This gives me chills. To me, proof that everything is connected.

Hi, Rashenbo! You're going to love Backspace, extremely warm, giving bunch of folks! Can't wait to get to know you and your writing.