Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Write those thoughts while they're still hot

Yesterday I was walking with a friend who mentioned she had to write an essay. "As soon as my brain started thinking up ideas, I had to write them down." (Nevermind she was in the midst of a group of people.)
If we all were so attentive to our thoughts.
I used to wake up in the middle of the night, when hit by a scene or an image, tiptoe to my desktop, and release those thoughts onto the page.
These days getting those thoughts down requires a bit more persistence. For, while turning on the computer, I get distracted by my phone, catching up on the latest political fiasco or reading urgent mail. (Maybe even playing a few moves in 'words with friends.') By the time I sit down in front of the screen, the burning idea inside me has been diluted by thoughts of a foolish comment by a presidential nominee, concerns for parents who have lost children in a senseless shooting, worries about exactly how much time I have to finish editing stories just sent to me. That initial idea that had pulled me toward the computer in the first place--that fire--has dwindled to a few cold embers.
So, when your mind is churning--and your heart heats up--get those thoughts down while the feeling is still hot.

1 comment:

Laurie M said...

Yes, yes, yes. "Diluted" is exactly the word to use. Just found your blog while I was digging through the NYC Midnight website - I'll be back! <--said in a decidedly un-Schwartzenegger voice.

What People Are Saying About My Half of the Sky

My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010

"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review November, 2008

“It is a rare women’s novel that sensitively describes the life of a young educated woman in modern-day China in its full complexity, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism. Jana’s deep knowledge of the realities of life in China and Singapore makes the reading extra rewarding. In fact, with every new page the novel gets harder to put down and you find yourself gobbling it up before you know it. Finally, the author has given a voice to the Li Hui in all of us, as we struggle for the golden middle between tradition and the modern momentum of our world.”
Isabella Sluzek
Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008

You'll be rooting all the way for Li Hui as she struggles, ahead of the curve, to be her own woman in an emerging, modern China. Jana McBurney-Lin's My half of the Sky is a beautiful, witty, touching debut novel.
Thomas B. Sawyer
Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
Author - The Sixteenth Man

A complex and mesmerizingly original tale of a young Chinese woman caught between the modern world and the pull of her ancient culture. McBurney-Lin’s intimate portrait of China sparks with insights and is peopled with characters so rich and alive, they seem to breathe on the page. Dazzling and unforgettable.
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McBurney-Lin's debut novel is a gift. Li Hui is a memorable heroine, a young woman torn between her heart and her culture.Her daunting journey is a trip into China's complicated soul, and a deeply moving exploration of love, honor, duty, and loss." Frank Baldwin, Author - Balling the Jack

My Half of the Sky is a wonderfully-crafted story that was obviously written with a piece of McBurney-Lin's heart. A masterpiece."
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