Falling in Love Again...

Next month is the submission window for the SCBWI Work in Progress Grants and in my Internet meandering this morning I came across an interview with Karen Cushman whose grant is also up for grabs in March - if you're old enough!  But we're still in February and some of what Karen was talking about fits so well with this month's  theme. She quotes Ray Bradbury, who said so many great things, here's one of them:

"To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. I wish for you a wrestling match with your creative muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolish and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria and out of it make fine stories. Which finally means may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days and out of that love remake the world."
Ray Bradbury via Karen Cushman

It's not the passion for writing but the being in love with the story that gets me. The writing of it is the hard but necessary bit. As bleak as it is, I do love my story and I'm hoping someone else will too. The thought that stories have the potential to 'remake the world' is mind blowing.

I'm reading a story that I love, too. I've broken last week's duck and read half a book in just a few hours. I can't tell you what it is because we can only review craft books on W&P  but you can guess if you like. Daughter handed me the book, I started reading and was hooked - fantastic feeling. It was as if the author was there, speaking to me. Tomorrow we have an interview with Sarah Lean and her tips on Voice. For me, like every agent I've ever read or listened to, my passion for a book is all for the voice and hearing one is magic.

This week, I loved Philippa's suggestion to consider what 'ignites' our characters' passion, in The Blog Break Nick highlighted the aid to passion for writing - goals and targets, and Nicky interviewed wonderful SCBWI member Morag Caunt whose passion is overflowing, specifically into the young drama group from West Yorkshire who are acting her stories out. On Friday, it was brilliant to see all the featured illustrator quickfire answers together and find that what binds them is tea! And of course, many congratulations to Nick Cook who's kept the faith with his story for seven years and is now being published in May! Faithfulness and Passion go well together, I think.

Next week with Sarah Lean, we have Catriona with another brilliantly wordy post When Words Get Together and Friday's illustrator feature is all about Pop-Ups.

Here's the lovely Karen Cushman's interview, which works great as a podcast but I thought you'd like to see her.

Podcasts? Hmmm... wouldn't it be great if Words & Pictures did some of those….

Have a great week!
Jan Carr

Jan Carr is the editor of Words & Pictures. Her fiction is all over the place, she blogs occasionally and loves to write in magenta. You can contact her at editor@britishscbwi.org.


  1. Lovely thoughts as ever, Jan, and thanks for the Karen Cushman interview.

  2. Really enjoyed the interview, Jan, thanks, I loved the image of being like a spider spinning a web out of your own guts! x

  3. It's the "being in love with the story that gets me" too, Jan. But what do you do when your editor isn't as keen as you are? Absolutely LOVE Karen's interview. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. You're welcome, Sarah.
    Hmm... re the ed problem - I don't know how you make someone love anything other than by your own enthusiasm and commitment. And maybe, some tweaking of the telling with a little bit of compromise?


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