Tag Archives: A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L'EngleMadeleine L’Engle is an author I believe I will enjoy all my life.  I was introduced to her through a devotional book called Glimpses of Grace.  It was on our resource table at a seminar I did.  One day I was bored, so I picked up the book and flipped through it.  I was hooked.  I bought it and used it as my devotional guide for several years.  It opened my soul to the presence of God, ignited something new inside me, and caused me to think in a different and delightful way.  The book is made up of excerpts from L’Engle’s various works.  She was a prolific author.

The first book of hers that I read was chosen because I so enjoyed the excerpts in the devotional book.  It was titled A Circle of Quiet.  My family made fun of me for reading it because it wasn’t some kind of romance novel and it took me quite awhile to work through it.  The ideas she presented were so new and fresh and beautiful to me that I didn’t want to miss anything.  She writes about truly being yourself, what that means, and how to find out what makes you come alive.  She writes about not being embarrassed by who we are and the things we are gifted to do – how to accept our own creativity and joy.  I didn’t agree with everything she wrote, but I loved the parts I did agree with so much that I couldn’t get enough.  A Circle of Quiet is the first book in the Crosswicks Journal Series.  I went on to read the entire series and thoroughly enjoyed them.

She wrote her first novel as a young woman and out of curiosity, I read that.  It’s titled A Small Rain.  It was fascinating and moving.  When she was much older, she wrote a sequel to it titled A Severed Wasp.  I immediately purchased that book and read it as soon as I was finished with the first one.  Her books are life-changing in the way she uses stories to present ideas and concepts.  I am forever changed by the stories she tells.  For example, she writes of a long-term marriage and the love between the two people.  There’s nothing easy about their love for one another and it takes work every single day.  They make interesting compromises and struggle with terrible challenges, but they work it out every day.  How much different than our fairy tales that tell us “they lived happily ever after,” yet you never get the idea that her characters aren’t basically happy people with real lives.

A Wrinkle in TimeShe wrote the popular children’s book A Wrinkle in TimeI read that as an adult and devoured the other three books in the series that came after it.  I can’t wait to read them to my own children one day.  They are creative and imaginative and wild.  Space and time travel, other creatures, and stories that present truth to children – what can be better than that?

She has a book on writing titled Madeleine L’Engle Herself, which is another collection of excerpts from her writings and lectures.  It is full of advice on how to become a writer and the writing process.  I read a little bit here and there and have been working on it for a few years.  I love how she has encouraged and shaped me as a writer.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her book of poetry titled The Ordering of LoveShe writes religious poetry, love poems, and many other types of poems.  She uses words in such an amazing way, you can read her poems over and over and still find new and wonderful things in them.  There are poems about her husband that take my breath away.

Tonight I was looking at amazon.com and imagining buying all her books now so I’ll have them when I’m ready to read them.  I already have a few that I haven’t had a chance to read yet.  I decided not to buy them all up now, but to wait and get them here and there until I have all of them.  I can’t imagine anything that she’s written that I wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy.  You all really ought to check her out.  She’s amazing.

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My Book

I’m writing a book.  I feel like I’ve been working on it all my life – and I probably have in some ways.  It is far from finished because I stopped writing it for a while. 

 

I’ve been asked many times what it’s about and have had difficulty answering that question.  The reason I think it’s been hard is because I haven’t been quite sure myself.  I’ve subjected my book to the thoughts and criticisms of a few people and that’s changed what I wrote.  It changed it so much that I lost the joy of writing it and stopped  for a while.  Those ideas and suggestions were really good, and I’m glad I requested them, but I allowed them to have too much influence and get me off track. 

 

I’m ready to write again now because I’ve rediscovered my vision. 

 

The book is a collection of stories.  It isn’t a book that will tell anyone how to live, how to lead, or how to succeed.  Who am I to tell people those things?  It is a book of stories – the way I experienced things that happened in my life and how they impacted me. 

 

I truly enjoy telling stories.  I hope the inherent lessons in those stories will be understood by the reader.  But it exhausts me to think about telling the story, then trying to explain the meaning of it and telling readers what they should think or do as a result of that story.  If they can’t figure out what they think or can do as a result of the story, then I’ve probably failed as a story-teller…

 

It’s fun to me that sometimes on my blog comments other people do me the favor of explaining the lesson in my story to me.  Or maybe they’re explaining it to others who read the comments on my blog?  (I like to read the comments on other blogs, so I guess this is possible.)  Either way, it’s rewarding in a way to get to read the revelation they had through my story.  I try not to imagine that they don’t think I realize the moral of my own story.  J 

 

Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers of all time.  I think I like her so much because she loves to instill ideas and concepts in the mind of the reader through stories.  If you read A Wrinkle in Time, you will probably never have the idea that people can be governed through mere brain power alone.  You will recognize that people are all different, they need different things, and compassion (heart) is essential in leading others.  One of the characters in the book is a large, disembodied brain who rules with rigid laws about conforming to ridiculous rules.  L’Engle doesn’t have to explain this concept to the reader.  It’s understood. 

 

This realization about my book just really hit me recently.  I was reading L’Engle’s thoughts on writing well in a book called Madeleine L’Engle Herself in which she repeatedly writes things like – I don’t write my books; my books write me.  She makes it sound like she has very little to do consciously with the writing of her books.  It’s a practice of her sub-conscious.  When she’s writing, something totally outside of herself happens and the words on the page are often far different from what she thought of before the pen touched the paper.  As a writer, this makes sense to me.  I have also experienced this phenomenon many times and have been amazed by it.  If I have a problem to figure out, the surest way to do it is to put pen to paper and write until it’s solved.  And it works.  It’s like the pen allows me to tap into a place in my soul that my verbal communication skills can never reach.  It’s admittedly weird, but it happens. 

 

The point of explaining all that is to say that when I first started writing my book, it flowed naturally.  As I wrote about my past, things came to light in my mind, fit together, and finally made a little sense.  I trust that process now so much that I have no doubt the things I write are truth.  But this ability to write truth suddenly stopped in regard to my book.  Instead, I was trying to force myself to write out “lessons” after each story.  Yuck.  I’m done with that.  Let the reader figure out the lesson – I’m on to a new story! 

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