Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The characters living in my head.

   Every day I wake up at 5:30 am to write. If I get enough writing done, I have a positive outlook on the rest of my day. This continuity fuels my craft  and turns on my inspiration. It is like a water fall connected to a river. It needs to flow, creating new paths, feeding on the rain at times, carrying whatever it finds on the way and making the most out of it.
   The interesting fact  is that even when I am not writing a story, during the rest of my day, the characters continue to exist within the boundaries of my mind, overshadowing my own existence. Sometimes they even enlighten my day, fueling it with new ideas and insights. So, in other words, while I am living my own life, there is an alternative universe, parallel to the real one, where my characters go on with their own daily lives in their own time and space.
   My characters may be imaginary or real ones. It doesn't matter because in both cases they are real to me. They are alive in my mind while a story is in progress, enhancing my own life and expanding it. Sometimes they even wake up during the night, and I have to get up to write a few lines about them.
    There is a dose of craziness in the art of creative writing, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Save the bookstores day on June 25, 2011

       Don't get me wrong. I love the internet, and I appreciate and enjoy all the possibilities and opportunities it offers. My connection with the internet, however, does not abate my love for books.
       My fascination for them may have begun very early in my childhood, when my parents made me become a member of the local library. And when that love for books is born so early, it is bound to blossom and continue growing for ever. I get surprised when I hear or read comments about the "possibility of books disappearing."
       I don't believe that books will cease to exist just because it is easier and/or cheaper to get them online. There is a unique magic sensation in the act of losing myself in a bookstore for hours, browsing them to come across something I don't expect expect I'd find, fingering the pages, dealing with the unpredictable.
    The feeling of touching a book and carrying it anywhere is also unique. Reading a book in bed is not the same as reading it from a computer. How can I not relish the experience of reading without the need of  battery or electricity?
     The charm that books can provide is always special, whether it happens in the woods, on a rock by the sea or in a library setting.
     I know I have passed on this fascination  to my daughter. She is two years old now, but I've read to her since she was born, and she already shares my passion.
      I agree with  Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the  Nobel Prize for literature 2010, when he said:
  "I cannot accept the idea that a nonfunctional or nonpragmatic act of reading, one that seeks neither information nor a useful and immediate communication, can integrate on a computer screen the dreams and the pleasures of words with the same sensation of intimacy, the same mental concentration and spiritual isolation, that may be achieved by the act of reading a book."  These words were extracted from The Best American Essays, 2002 (Why literature?, by Mario Vargas Llosa). I must confess that I found this chapter a month ago in an old bookstore, when I was visiting  the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin. I fell in love with his essay and ended up buying the book.
    If you are a book lover, join the celebration  on Saturday, June 25, 2011, by buying one book (or four) from your local bookstore. Feel free  to find out more information about this viral event by googling it. And, of course, have fun with it!