Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From High Atop "Plot Mountain"

I was reading my June issue of The Sun magazine (one of my absolute faves) and laughed out loud when I got to this paragraph from an essay by Dana Wildsmith about surviving a rattlesnake bite (yes, usually a laugh-out-loud topic). Of course, the piece—which was quite wonderful—was about much more than rattlesnakes and is worth seeking out. (It’s not online, but here’s where to find out more info about The Sun, which is a unique magazine that accepts no advertising and, in my opinion, deserves our support for the great writing and the editors’ willingness to explore the darker corners in life.)

Anyway, here’s the part that charmed me:

“In my writing I have been primarily a poet, because my natural predilection is to notice what’s small, what’s close, what’s personal. I think of novelists as the CEOs of the writing world. I picture them standing on top of Plot Mountain, surveying complex vistas below and planning how to describe the view. Poets are down there in the valley’s remotest holler, cooling our feet in a tiny bend of the narrowest creek, thinking how nice the water feels. We look up, notice all those hot people in a field nearby, and call to them, ‘Hey, it’s nice right here, in this spot.’ And that’s where a poem starts.”

In the same issue, I also very much enjoyed the short story by Austin Bunn, "Everything All at Once,” and you can read the beginning of it here.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.