I've always wanted to write the simplest stories and I always end up writing more complicated ones. I don't know what that impulse is exactly, but sometimes I'd like to have it surgically removed. When I started writing Violet Bing, it was an easy little picture book, but the fates and various editors nudged me into developing it more, and before I new it, I was back in the fold of complexity.
I still yearn to write something simple (or at least to experience the thing I write as simple!). One of my favorite books in childhood was The Baby Beebee Bird by Diane Redfield Massie. The story is about a bird who comes to live in a zoo, but he sleeps during the day and is awake at night. And at night he sings his song, "beebeebobbibobbi beebeebobbibobi". He keeps all the animals up and they are furious until they think to keep him up (with his own song) during the day. Finally, he sleeps at night- with the rest of them.
The sweetness and simplicity of the story makes me return to it, even after all this time, with an open heart.
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From the Inside