For more information about my work please visit www.IsabellaDavid.com, which is my new site and combines my acting and writing interests.
My first attempt to scare you is up at Every Day Fiction. Please check it out here or here: http://www.everydayfiction.com/all-find-safety-in-the-tomb-by-isabella-david/
The title "All Find Safety in the Tomb" is of course borrowed from the recurring line in "Crazy Jane and the Bishop"-- that ghostly, gorgeous poem by Yeats with the most wonderful first line of any poem: "Bring me to the blasted oak". You can read the rest of the poem here.
In an effort to manage my very limited mommy/ writing time better, I'm combining this site with my old acting site. Let me know what you think of the result here. From now on please head over to www.isabelladavid.com for updates, news and links or www.brooklynbooksandbabies.com for personal essays and news here.
One of the nicest feelings there is: seeing your name in print.
The First Line’s Fall Issue has arrived in bookstores and online. Here‘s a list of participating bookstores, or you can purchase a copy through Amazon’s Kindle store or a PDF through the site.
I’m really proud of this essay, because, although it’s hard to pick just one favorite writer or, to be honest, five of them, E.M. Forster is in all of my top-ten lists, that’s for sure. Anyway there’s lots of ways to read (as in interpret or get your hands on) my essay which begins with the premise that E.M. Forster’s first line “One may as well begin with Helen’s letter to her sister…” is the most marvelous way to begin a book that there is.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts if you have a chance to read it! And if you need an even better reason to support the arts than ravening curiosity about my opinions: it’s only $4 for a print copy and $2 for the PDF.
Another tongue-in-cheek piece I wrote for The Urban Realist is live on their site. It's part homage to my Cousin Bonnie whose guidance helped me through a rough patch in my life, and it's part inspiration to other young women, many of whom I feel like settle for second-place in life. It's your life, ladies! You should be the star of it!
I don't really believe in dating rules, but I do believe in boundaries and self-love, and I have the many great women in my life to thank for that wisdom. I hope my wonderful, kind, funny Cousin Bonnie's words can help others as much as they did me.
Please check it out here ! And let me know what you think: are these "rules" helpful, inspiring, true to life? Any advice to share of your own?
Pictured above: "The Good Life" by Tracy K. Smith.
I joined Instagram. Please follow me..
Last week, I started the humbling process of submitting my 90,000 word YA novel to literary agents. I researched query letters, read books and blogs like this one and this one. Times have changed from the days of snail mail when I last submitted a book. I discovered, nowadays, they only want the first ten pages, preferably via email. The last time I submitted a chapter book they wanted the whole thing, and email wasn't an option.
More important, after I clipped the first ten pp. from the whole 350 or so pp MS. I discovered my first ten pages are not my first ten pages. I mean, existentially, they are. Yes, they might be numbered 1-10 in the lower, right-hand corner as per formatting rules, but the story begins almost ten pages past those ten pages. My first ten pages are actually pp. 10-20. I was going to have to rewrite my story. Again.
What surprised me was the happiness that came with this epiphany, while you can feel the dread and fatigue dripping off the blog post from about a year ago where I discuss the moment when I figured out I needed my very first rewrite, which, at the end of the day, considering I added 50,000 words, was more of a write than a "re" anything.
Writing a whole, long MS with steady beats versus writing a pithy, cute short like this one with one sweet beat shaping it has been a lengthy learning process. It hasn't come natural, and when I read about writers like du Maurier who wrote the pearly, pure prose pages of Rebecca in six months I want to wring her neck very gothically.
First rewrite: it was a dark and stormy night I figured out my original novel was kind of...well, okay, extremely...cliched. About a year and a half ago, I decided to rewrite the whole thing from an entirely different character's POV, a new character I had to get to know and flesh out and configure a different arc for. It transformed the entire piece, and it was painful, hard, laborious work, most of which I accomplished while I was pregnant and strangely unwilling to leave the house, a Miss Sophie Canetang with her computer, a nesting goose.
This time the story is there, the musculature of character, the fine bones of plot, but the lines of it need to be laid bare under a lot of fat.
After I decided to write this blog piece, I tried to hunt up a Gabriel Garcia Marquez quote about how he can't stop rewriting his pieces and eventually just has to let go. I think it's appropriate that what I found instead were quotes about enjoying the rewriting process and the necessity of the rewriting process, because I'm not there yet to that place Marquez is discussing. I know it, because I've been to that place with some of my shorter pieces. Editors have even kindly worked with me on rewrites like this prose poem I rewrote three times. In this case, I know it's not self-consciousness or fear that's sending me back to page one: my MS is just not in shape. If you're finding the prospect of a rewrite as grueling as I first did, here are a bunch of inspiring quotes on rewriting that I hope hearten you along your way. And, after all, remember, we're doing this because we love it!
More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn't say I have a talent that's special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.
-- John Irving
There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
-- Justice Brandeis
The process of rewriting is enjoyable, because you're not in that existential panic when you don't have a novel at all.
-- Rose Tremain
What do you think? Do you dread rewriting? Do you enjoy it? Do you improve your work or do you feel as if you might be destroying that ephemeral je ne sais quoi? Let me know in the comments below! And please feel free to share any writing tips with me.
Since deciding to become a mother a little more than a year ago, I've been focusing on writing full-time. In order to give my storytelling brain a break, I began to write non-fiction as well.
So I started a blog: www.brooklynbooksandbabies.com,and I've begun writing for other blogs.
Here's my first piece for The Urban Realist, a fun and funny site and a tongue-in-cheek piece about how to lose that beer belly...er baby weight.
Please check it out here.