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last night jack kerouac came to me in a dream + some links on writing {silent sunday}

Sunday, February 3, 2013
I stayed up too late; my eyes were burning as I rolled over to not enough sleep again. Suddenly, there in the dark, paragraphs came to me: brilliant, shiny words that had been rolling around inside me for months finally made their way out; they weaved into sentences so articulate and beautiful. I thanked them profusely, but pen and paper were too far away. I’ll remember you in the morning, I told them between yawns. They replied firmly, warning me they wouldn’t remain; their time was precious. Maybe someone else will heed us, they whispered. But I didn’t hear them, I was already asleep.

Of course the morning came too quickly, little arms and legs found their way into my room and woke me with a start. The paragraphs were gone, their pride wounded at my neglect. They left one sentence behind for me, one sentence to haunt my mind each minute of the day. Last night Jack Kerouac came to me in a dream. Then I remembered him. There was Jack Kerouac, weaving in and out of all those lines. His words were burning and pouring out of an open book on the bedroom floor, spilling across the wood to my open hands. But what he came to say to me vanished as my eyes opened to face the day.

I spent the afternoon digging through old boxes of books, finally finding my copy of On The Road buried underneath yellowed pregnancy books and  Nancy Drew mysteries. I rushed Mr. Kerouac upstairs, hoping he’d forget my lack of respect [I did fall asleep on him and bury him in my basement, after all]. Determined to make things right, he is now safely tucked on my nightstand, nestled between Lord Peter Wimsey and Bilbo Baggins. There is also a notebook ready, and a pen. Jack, I whisper softly to him, now I’m listening.

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Here’s a little writing inspiration, if you’re feeling stuck, or like you just don’t know where to start. Many of these links were pointed out to me by my dear friend Melody, who is a wonderful writer and constantly inspiring me.

Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing
Sentences sentenced to hard labor – Wall Street Journal
Outlining in Reverse – New York Times
You’ve got to sell your heart – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Letter on Writing – C.S. Lewis
Jack Keroauc’s list of 30 beliefs and techniques for modern prose
Margaret Atwood’s writing tips
Forget your personal tragedy – Ernest Hemingway
It has never got easier – John Steinbeck
Ira Glass beginner’s quote
Junot Diaz talks about being a writer
A book is like a man – John Steinbeck
Tips on writing – John Steinbeck
The ultimate guide to writing better than you normally do 
Living like weasels – Annie Dillard
Best Food Articles of 2012 – Huffington Post

  • Reply
    Alll Kindsa Stuff
    Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Sarah, the writing above is beautiful, not sure you need more help. 😉

    Keep it up!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    Monday, February 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    You captured the frustrating phenomenon of sleep-writing really well!

  • Reply
    Melody
    Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    xoxoxo

  • Reply
    marissa bognanno
    Friday, February 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    i will absolutely be coming back to this post when the block strikes. you are so inspirational!

  • Reply
    Liesl
    Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Such a great list, Sarah. I’ve poked through to a few of the links and am excited to investigate the others.

  • Reply
    littleovenstories.com
    Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Loved your post! Just finished reading ‘Best food writing 2012’ (Holly Hughes) – some beautifully written essays and stories hiding in this collection as well – and was looking for some more inspiration/reading lists. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    funyoung.altervista.org
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Ahaa, its pleasant discussion about this piece of writing
    at this place at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

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