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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blood Child Revisited

I recently recommended that one of my students read 'Blood Child' by Octavia Butler. It came out in the June 84 issue of 'Asimovs' and it was one of the stories that directly culminated in my becoming a SF writer. I can still remember that moment when I was gripped by that wrenching 'I want to write this' epiphany.

It did occur to me that I should probably reread this. It had been a long time. Now I tend to approach old favorites from my 'pre-writer' years with trepidation. I was a much less critical reader then and I've ruined more than one pleasant memory for myself. But you know what? 'Blood Child' had, if anything, an even stronger effect on me this time. Her grasp of power/gender/sex issues is really profound. Sigh. One of my real regrets is that I never actually met her in person.


Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I love "Blood Child". It was a formative story in my reading history as well. I was a critical reader by the time I came to it, as I was in the midst of the beginning of my writing apprenticeship (remember that!) and everything I read was something I read for both enjoyment and with the hopes that I'd be able to learn as a writer from it, but within the first couple of pages of that story all of my critical senses were shut down. I still read it on occasion and the same thing happens everytime. It compels me to the state of being in awe. I met Octavia once, and she was one of the friendliest souls I've ever encountered. I miss her voice in the magazines and on the bookshelves--I mean, I miss that new stories and novels will not be appearing from her anymore; obviously her voice will always be with us with the testament she left behind. In her novels "The Parable of the Sower" and "The Parable of the Talents" it's clear that she foresaw a lot of the problems occuring in American society today.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Mary Rosenblum said...

Hey, Chris! Nice to see you here, by the way! :-)

10:55 AM  

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