Giving and receiving

Alicia BessetteIn the opening scene of SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH, my narrator Zell finds a gift intended for her in a very unexpected place. The gift, she assumes, is from her late husband, who hid it before he died.

She doesn’t open it right away.

Sometimes you have to wait for your life circumstances to shift and resettle, before you’re ready to receive.

Take inspiration. I didn’t know it at the time, but my very first inspiration for SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH came almost ten years ago, when I rescued an orphaned baby bird from the oncoming blades of a ride-on lawnmower. Afterwards I scribbled some notes, even wrote a short story about a man and a woman—neighbors, and lonely—who nurse an abandoned baby bird to health.

The story wasn’t published, but I held onto it. Years passed, and the real-life bird-rescue melded with other inspiring events, and together they simmered on a backburner, while I grew older and wiser. Finally, when I knew how to treat those inspirations, my book was born.

If inspiration is a gift from the world, then books are authors’ gifts to the world. They’re our experiences and emotions, our memories and musings; they are our children and our parents, our friends and partners, our work, play, and dreams, all packaged as story, and offered to readers.

Happy December, everyone, and may you give and receive with open arms, when the time is right.

~Alicia Bessette

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19 thoughts on “Giving and receiving

  1. Oh, I remember rescuing baby birds! This happened several times while I was growing up, and Mom fed them from a little eyedropper. We also rescued a baby squirrel once, and fed it on hard boiled egg yolks mashed in milk until it was strong enough to go back into the wild.

    I’m curious to find out how you incorporate this into your book…

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  3. *They’re our experiences and emotions, our memories and musings; they are our children and our parents, our friends and partners, our work, play, and dreams, all packaged as story, and offered to readers.*

    I just love that sentence and keep re-reading it. So true, and so beautifully written!

  4. So true! I have many metaphorical ‘baby birds’ of my own that weave their way into my stories. Often I’m the only one who ever knows that they are there, but I like it that way.

  5. Hi Alicia,
    your sentences express so deep feelings and one can see how honestly and thoroughly you do your job as an author. I’m looking forward to reading your gifts next year.
    I thank you and Matt so much for sharing your emotions, memories and experiences with all the readers.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year:)

  6. “…books are authors’ gifts to the world. They’re our experiences and emotions, our memories and musings; they are our children and our parents, our friends and partners, our work, play, and dreams, all packaged as story, and offered to readers.”

    Beautiful. Truly.

    Put a bow on your head, baby, ’cause all I want for Christmas is YOU! Best gift ever. My Al.

    Happy Holidays to all of our Debutante Ball writer friends and all who are following along, whether you post comments or not. May your 2010 be grand.

  7. Your Deb postings are certainly wonderful gifts and I look forward to opening one every Wednesday. Today’s was especially wonderful. As good as the chemistry set I got when I was a kid (and nearly blew myself up with). And to top it off, there are the additional gifts of those commenting. Happy holidays to Al and Matt and to all the contributors to the Deb.
    As we say here in Peru – Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo.

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  9. I once tried to save a bumble bee who was clinging to life after I swat at it. I felt so guilty I tried to nurse it back to life the entire day! I forgot all about that until I read this-thanks for triggering childhood memories I had long forgotten!

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