Thou Shalt Not…

“If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?”

I wracked my brain for a while on this one.

I am without any question a bona fide bibliophile. I literally own thousands of books, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many that I don’t own that I have read and loved.

Books have been a major part of my life all of my life; first being read to for the first 7 years of my life,

then reading, reading constantly, for nearly sixty years more.

 My mind went to classics; it went through famous modern writer’s works that I love, it went through children’s books that I love.

I LOVE, truly LOVE many books and they have had, and continue to have, a major impact in my life.

A well-written work, a well-written scene, a well-written line will come back to me at any time. I will re-read books, but more often lately, I will put on audiobooks of well-loved books which I have read to experience the story and the writing.

 To re-experience the writing.

As I brought up in my post just a few weeks ago about the possibility of having our works translated into other languages, it is often more the WRITING that I enjoy than the stories.

So, who would I like to write like?

No one.

Not that I think that my writing is better than anyone else’s, (far from it), but I never wanted to BE anyone else. Kids around me always wanted to be some singer or actor, or even Santa Claus, but really, I never wanted to switch from who I am to be someone else.  I enjoy performances, but I never wanted to act. Direct, maybe, but I would never want to be Stephen Spielberg, Billy Wilder or even John Ford.

I occasionally see a title or a premise for a book and think, “Gosh, I wish I had thought of that”, but I know every time that  one of two things will happen: A) I would have done a completely different treatment of it,  or 3) Know that I would not have done the story as well.

Are there scenes or lines that I wish that I had thought up? Yes. I marvel, (as our Tuesday Fox mentioned), at the writing in The Lord of the Rings or even  The Chronicles of Narnia. I would love to make it all come together like Liane Moriarty does in all of her books. The death scene and the surprise in Rachel Joyce’s (no relation), “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” are so good that I wish I could pull off something as well, but I would not wish that I had written these books or stories. The same for “Hawthorne”, the literally haunting story by author known to many of us here, Sarah Ballance. That story really sticks with me, the reveal so unexpected, it has stayed with me. Do I want to be in the minds of Liane, Rachel and/or Sarah? I appreciate them, but no. Each of us brings something unique, something we know, something we have experienced, something we thought up, (or were inspired by), to our hearts and minds, therefore, our writings,

and to the world.

So bring on your works, Friends! I want to see what each of you has to impart to us, but I will not covet my neighbor’s writes.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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6 Responses to Thou Shalt Not…

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    No two people would ever tell the same story in exactly the same way. But sometimes I wish I could write as prolifically as this author, with the lyricism of another, and the emotion of yet another. In the end, I’m happy to be me, so your wish to write like no one is a good choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The essence of the original question, I believe, was which author’s stories would we have wanted to be the author of? I don’t want to be another JRR Tolkien, Jane Austen, or even Shakespeare. It is the lines they wrote that I would have loved to have thought of, if not the entire books. No, I don’t want to be the next Tolkien, Austen, or Shakespeare. I want to be the best Sharon K Connell I can be with my writing. One doesn’t have to be the author to wish she could have written the stories they wrote.

    My wish is for my stories will be loved as well as these famous, well-written authors in time. But that remains to be seen. All I can do is keep working on my skills. But…I still wish I could have written The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I got the premise, Sharon and was ready to go with it; I thought of dozens of stories thinking that I could find one that, “Boy,I wish I had written that!” would come to me and I expected to, honestly, but I couldn’t. I love so many stories that have become part of me, but a, “Gosh,I wish I had written that”, simply would not come to mind.


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    Please to see your mention of our friend, Sarah Ballance.
    Like you, I was captivated by her short novel, HAWTHORNE.
    In fact, after I gasped at the ending, I immediately read the entire thing again, just to see if I’d missed any hints.
    Wonderful story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had not heard from Sarah for a long, long time, but she messaged me just this week. I told her that her timing was perfect, as I was mentioning her and Hawthorne in my post.
    She did a fantastic job of it all. I am glad that you read it, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

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