Monday, March 23, 2009

Another C.B.I Interview: Author and Critic Betsy Hearne

I sure like my Children’s Book Insider “In Their Own Words” booklet. I’d like to share another favorite, this time with Betsy Hearne, who interviewed with CBI back in January 2000.

What stood out most to me is when CBI asked, “Do you have suggestions for books beginning authors should study?”

Betsy replied, giving a few picks. Then she said this, “Although writing ultimately represents faith in expression, one of the most important things writers can do is listen to silence.”

At that last bit of advice, I scratched my head. Listen to silence? Never heard of that before. I hoped I would get what she meant.

A few days later, I worked outside doing chores that took some thought. I hauled leaves and pine needles for the compost bin. Fixed my fallen down scarecrow near pea patch. I hauled wood to the porch from woodpile. I was so energized I chopped kindling.

Towards the end of the kindling job, my eyes wandered to my tiny tulip garden only two feet away. Even though it rained lightly off and on, I tackled the grass coming up around my tulip stems and this is when I didn’t have to think. I hummed. I took my time. I thought of only the grass and weeds. I worked the ground with joy for the promised tulips to come. Then thought of dirt, and soon I entered a safe place I cannot describe. All I know is it happens when I dig up the dirt in my flower beds. I had forgotten this.

Suddenly, about twenty minutes into the job, without conscious decision, I began thinking of story ideas that never crossed my mind before. When I was almost done with deweeding, it hit me. This is what Betsy meant: listen to silence.

Smart woman!

Go to CBI’s Web page and learn more about this wonderful children's organization.

Until next time . . .

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