On Harriet the Spy and the Risks of Writing
A few years ago I wrote a post for Chickliteracy, a blog that asks women to write about how their lives have been intertwined with books. The book I wrote about that had woven itself into me was Harriet the Spy. I wrote about the power of writing and the perils of sharing (or in Harriet's case having your writing torn out of your hands.) While in my life so far it has been far less perilous than for many, there is always personal risk. (The reason I posted this years later is that on January 29, 2015, I was part of a panel called "Flourish, Publish" asking 'why share your writing?' I joined editors of two literary magazines who spoke about what they look for. I spoke to the question of why publish anything? and how do you choose?
Here's an excerpt from my travels with Harriet the Spy:
"One day, I took the book for a walk. It was fall, a cool orange-leafed day, and I didn’t go far. I remember sitting at the edge of the road on a tree stump. The peace of no one meant I could come forward a bit within myself. Surface. It is one of those carved-out moments. Sitting there reading about Harriet, how she carried her notebook around, and wrote in it secretly about her friends and family. This is what she did with her aloneness. She wrote everything down! When they discovered what she had written, it was gasp-worthy. The anger. Shocking. Sitting there, I saw I was already that. I had not yet started writing, but I recognized myself." Harriet the Spy, Audre Lorde and Me, by Ronna Bloom