Wow. Just wow. Maybe this won’t be new news to you, but I just found this awesome site:
Writers on Writing –A complete archive of the Writers on Writing Column from the NY Times.
I decide to read a few of the opening paragraphs. The first link I open is Geraldine Brooks from July 2, 20o1:
My writing desk is a tankard-scoured tavern table that once saw service in an 18th-century inn. When I look up, the waved and bubbled window panes of my study offer a view that has changed very little in the 200 years since the glass was set in place. A small paddock rises gently to an apple orchard, the trees laced with white blossoms. An elderly stallion flicks at flies with a long, supple tail.
At this time of year boughs of unfurling oak leaves hide the black slash of electric wires. And that’s helpful; for every morning, after I turn off the urgent chatter of news radio — its breathless headlines and daunting traffic reports — I make my way up to this little room and attempt to leave my own time behind.
Tell me that’s not a tiny literary treat?
And this one from Jamaica Kincaid, June 7, 1999. It’s hard to stop at just two paragraphs:
How do I write? Why do I write? What do I write? This is what I am writing: I am writing “Mr. Potter.” It begins in this way; this is its first sentence: “Mr. Potter was my father, my father’s name was Mr. Potter.” So much went into that one sentence; much happened before I settled on those 11 words.
Walking up and down in the little room in which I write, sitting down and then getting up out of the chair that is in the little room in which I write, I wanted to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom Mr. Potter vanished from my mind; I examined the tiles on the floor in front of me and found them ugly, worn out.