Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” On the first of each month, Catching Days hosts a guest writer in the series, “How We Spend Our Days.” Today, please welcome writer … Continue reading
“Travel brings out my need for order.” Picturing the Wreck by Dani Shapiro
Boarding passes, passports, confirmations.
Scarves, coats, coffees, carry-ons.
Phones, laptops, ipods, kindles.
Chargers, adapters, converters.
And then there are the liquids separated from the case that usually holds them, that holds the rest of their little friends. The brusqueness of the plastic ziplock bag.
“Yesterday was a strange, hurried, uncentered day.” Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton
The time to be at the airport, the time to board, the time the plane pulls back.
And finally, the time to go home.
Dani Shapiro is one of my all-time favorite writers. She knows how to tell a story–how to slowly release details in order to build tension and lure the reader forward. The first book of hers I read was Family History, published in 2003, but which I did not discover until October of 2005.
How does a writer know what to start with? When to reveal a detail? What is just enough to keep a reader interested but not so much that the reader has no place in the process?
“I lie in bed these days and watch home movies–a useless exercise, to be sure, but I can’t stop myself. Ned’s an amateur filmmaker, and ever since we got our first video camera when Kate was born, he has documented our family’s life, not just birthday parties and anniversaries but smaller, more telling moments.
- Playing With Fire, 1989
- Fugitive Blue, 1993
- Picturing the Wreck, 1996
- Slow Motion, 1998
- Family History, 2003
- Black & White, 2007