The 12 Gifts of YA, #11: solitude

photo of a lake, with dandelion seeds

Big Stone Lake, standing in SD and looking at MN

Welcome to the final gifts of the 12 Gifts of YA!

Writing is an activity that can happen anywhere, right?  At coffee shops (absolutely), writers’ retreats (I like those too), and kitchen tables (sure thing)—all those times are great, because the activity around me makes my book active, too.   Want to know what’s *really* fantastic?  Lighting a candle, shutting the door, turning on the music, and not seeing anyone for six hours at a time.  I love the solitude that writing gets me.  I’m really not alone, because all my imaginary people are there, but sometimes they’re the best company of all.   And they’re easier to shush (sometimes) than living, breathing people.

When I’m alone, sometimes I imagine myself walking around with my characters while they go places.  Sometimes I shout with Morgan on her hillside.  Sometimes I just close my eyes.  After the events in Newtown, CT on Friday, I have been spending my solitude sending healing, peace, and love to all involved with the Sandy Hook violence.

And if you ever doubt the power of books, check this fact from a CNN report:  “Janet Vollmer, a kindergarten teacher, locked her classroom doors, covered the windows and read a story to her 19 students to keep them calm.”   What else had even a chance of holding their attention until they could get to safety?  Such quick thinking on her part.

How are you and solitude?  Do you get along?  Let us know.  And please take a moment and send some healing thoughts toward all affected by Friday’s shooting.

(photo by the talented Adri Lobitz, who has her mother’s photographic eye)

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