I think a lot of people in Montreal were feeling optimistic today. The temperature was hovering around zero -- way warmer than usual for this time of year. My act of optimism was that I hung the sheets out on the clothesline. (You may know that I have an obsession with clotheslines.) Now I wish I'd taken a photo for you -- the sheets billowing in the breeze, a good five feet of snow on the ground beneath them.
I was just thinking that in many ways, writing is also an act of optimism. Writing means you have to believe in your story, that it's worth telling, and that people will care about what you have to say. In my "Writing for Children" class at Marianopolis College this morning, we were working on the students' picture book texts. Many of them are really promising. One of the things we discussed is that endings can't feel forced. I explained how sometimes the ending is hiding inside the story all along -- kind of like a piece of stone that the sculptor has to feel and observe carefully so that she can find the true shape waiting to emerge. All that takes faith in ourselves and the universe. And on a warm winter day, with spring not so very far away, it's a little easier to have faith. isn't it? So that's what I wish for you, today -- faith in yourself and your stories. And optimism, of course, too!
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