Monday, January 28, 2008

Warmth and Absence

Now that I've revealed to you my secret heart's desire to write The Great American Novel, I will now reveal that I work on writing snippets of it each day in my head. Rather than calling this neurosis or insanity, I consider it the the practice of "the short assignment," as writer Anne Lamott recommends.

Here's a short assignment I composed in the shower last week:

It was the coldest day of the year. But as she pressed her feet into the carpet and took the first steps of the day, Angela had no way of knowing it.

Fifteen hours must elapse before the nightly newscaster would announce that it was, in fact, the coldest day in four years. But by then, Angela had returned to bed, blankets piled, windows shut, and the cold in her heart remained unmeasured.

Yes, last week did include the coldest day in four years, but I am quite chipper. And have you noticed I've now referred to coldness or warmness of hearts three times recently? I guess preoccupation with warmth is a side-effect of Janufeb.


I can't decide if I'm glad or sad about the death of our beloved Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. I'm glad he can rest and that he didn't suffer a protracted decline. But won't you miss his constant refrains of "Just do your best" and "Just try"? He made righteousness seem so simple and attainable.


  1. Ooh, Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books, and I don't even write, just loved reading it and conceptualizing writing.

    nice short assigment.

    And I am positively glad that Pres. HInckley has moved forward so he can finally be with his dear Marjorie again.

  2. I am with you, Angela. While I know that President Hinckley is finally with his wife and that's good, I still feel so sad that we won't hear from him again.

  3. Now...I don't know much about anything...and I don't know what that book you're writing is about, but it looks like a good one. Ifevery paragraph is written with that much ingenuity, passion & wit, it is sure to be great.

  4. jo jo--who are you and when will you compliment me again?

  5. I would totally read that book. I am anxious to know why there is cold in her heart.
    I write blog posts like that - in my head. If I posted all of them you guys would be very tired of me and my rantings. Too bad I don't have the mad skills you do in writing.

  6. SOrry for the abbreviation - that would be Joe Joe - The Indian Circus Boy!

  7. Funny. Even though you write "Angela" I don't picture you at all. Your snippets sound so lovely in a melancholy sort of way. Even if they ever become a novel, I would love to read them at random.

    I feel very peaceful about the President Hinkley's death. He always reminded me of my grandfather.

  8. Regarding our beloved prophet's passing, My first thought was "good for him." But after a day or two, I realized how much I will miss him. I just felt so loved whenever I heard his voice.

    I LOVE that you are cooking up a novel. I have never been blessed with that particular muse, although when I first started blogging, I spoke bloglish to myself all day, narrating every mundane event. It passed.

    PLEASE grace the world with a novel, Angela.