Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

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FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
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What motivates writers to persevere?

In “Spirit of the Law,” a short story I’ve written, I wanted to explore life after death and something else—how the dead go on living or not living if only in our memory and in the physical places where we’ve known them.

Of course, I’m not really capturing what life is like after death. It’s my imaginative portrayal of one woman’s experience, and it’s a way of articulating metaphorically and humorously how the dead live on in our minds.

It helped to read that Bernard Malamud would write eighteen drafts of a story, working until he got it right.  It takes that kind dedication to find a story’s heart. To reach her readers, a writer needs the same kind of persistence as a religious person does in her determination to reach god. It’s quite a love affair, an unrequited one at that.

I’ve also been reading about creativity and commitment in Erica Helm Meade’s book Tell It by Heart.  She talks about Eurynome, the Pelasgian creator, using that myth as a model for the cycles that artists move through.  Meade describes Eurynome’s “grasping for form in Chaos, experimenting with raw materials, birthing creation, suffering betrayal, followed by her re-imagining creation, reworking it, offering it as a gift, and at last, taking time to rest….Eurynome means wide-wandering, and creativity requires us to cover a lot of ground” (55).

The most important element in this process, though, is commitment, “the ingredient required to brave the others” (55).  The “others” Meade refers to are the nine major ‘regions’ of her [Eurynome’s] creation:

  • Rest
  • Chaos, Disorder, and Confusion
  • Improvisation; Experimentation and Play
  • Ecstasy, Birth and Grandeur
  • Betrayal, Exile, and Failure
  • Contemplation and Reflection
  • Revising and Reworking
  • Presentation:  Contributing to Culture
  • Commitment

I’ve assumed that I have made a commitment to writing, but I realize it unravels regularly, daily even, just as happens in any relationship.  I have to constantly recommit myself.  I like what Meade says about commitment:

I recalled the good things which had come to me as a result of my commitment to tend the garden [i.e., life as a garden bursting with possibility], and I realized what Goethe meant in saying that when one commits oneself, providence moves too, and help arrives from inexplicable sources….I realized all the riches in my life—the love and creativity—had blossomed from commitment—from my ability to hang in and persist, even when I couldn’t remember why.  The vow to the muse was like marriage: When the passion wanes, commitment sustains us until the juice comes flooding back. (58)

Or as theI Ching says:  “Persistence furthers.”

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. I loved this blog, Lily. With your permission, I would like to post it on my blog page. I’m just starting a blog page and have learned a lot about how to do that by looking at yours. Your page is magical. Warmest regards, Marlene

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