Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Notebook: Jay Parini on Place

What happens to the notes that you take at all the ba-jillion writing conferences/talks you attend? If you’re like me, they sit around, unlooked at for years. I’ve decided to spend the week digging up some of those notes and pulling out some nuggets. These are paraphrased (not direct quotations), attributed as closely as I can, considering I’m pulling them from scribbled notes.

From Jay Parini’s talk at the F. Scott Fitzgerald conference in Rockville, MD, no date—maybe five years ago?

Place is not just an accumulation of details, but also the culture and grasp of the way place can affect the mood

Sense of place is often rooted in early childhood memories

Robert Frost: “locality gives art”—a line in a notebook…Frost was born and raised in San Francisco, CA!

Attitude of a writer: be perpetually stupid and dumb; wake up like a child and be amazed at what you see

We are where we are—which is often where we’ve been and where we’d like to go


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