Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My six

Even though I've just finished up Dumpling Days, I'm already making plans for my next novel "Return to Sky." I admit I've been a bit scared to begin this one, even though I have been thinking about it for quite some time. Truthfully, I'm afraid my ambitions for it are greater than my abilities. But, I'm trying to take courage just like I did before when I first began work on Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I had said I was going with Samuel Beckett's quote "Try again. Fail again. Fail better." I'm still going with the "fail better."

But a new quote has also crossed my mind. Recently, I read this post by Brenda Bowen where she excerpted Virginia Wolff's speech at the National Book Awards. In that speech Virgina Wolff talked about "Faulkner's six"--the six things writers should write about. Here's an excerpt:


Faulkner said in 1949 in the Nobel speech that if we are not writing about these six things we are not doing our job. They are love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice. I think of them as Faulkner's six.

I thought that was interesting and quite moving, and it made me think of the things that are important to me write about, especially for this book. Right now, I think my six would be:

LOVE
KINDNESS
EMPATHY
RESPONSIBILITY
PEACE
JOY

But I think I'll keep tweaking and changing it. What would your six be?

6 comments:

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Thanks Grace! I'm aspiring children's book author and your posting on, "Faulkner's Six" was great. I love your blog! Victoria

Jillian RV said...

My six? Um...sympathy, peace, joy, respectfulness, integrity, and love.

Mercedes Bleattler said...

Gather your courage and jump into that new book. We need more good stuff from an author like you. It's hard to beat your six. If I could add one it would be "wonder".

Grace Lin said...

Thanks, all, for your nice words!

Jillian--I love your six. Integrity is a good one. And, Mercedes, wonder is also a great word to add. I'll have to rearrange my six again!

purple glasses club said...

Compassion, commitment, equity, love, joy, beauty and determination.

Well, at least those are my six for this afternoon. I might change my mind before dinner. Thanks for this post. I have come to expect, you have reflected on something you have read and made it uniquely your own. This is a quality I would like to develop.

posse said...

love
loyalty
kindness
community
understanding
freedom