Then on 22nd January I received an email from Delancey Place. I had previously subscribed and each day an email plops into my inbox with details from books etc. As soon as I read the email of 22nd Jan I knew that I would enjoy Bird by Bird. I can not give a link to the article, but head over to the site and search for Bird by Bird and you should find the article.
The email from the library eventually arrived, and I set about reading the book.
The task set by the Progressive Book Club is to read the set book, in this case, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and then review sharing what each reader will take away from the book.
The following is the passage that was shared in the email on 22nd Jan. I then read the same passage, obviously, in the book.
From page 19
“30 years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird”
On page 59
“You need to keep moving your characters forward, even if they only go slowly”
The Chapter on Index cards I found particularly useful and interesting. Back to my study days at school and the college and university I was a fan of index cards. I recall carrying around chunks of them and reading them continuously, almost up to the point of sitting the final exam. In my early days of genealogy I used index cards to record what details I knew about specific ancestors.
Anne talks about always carrying a card or paper or a notebook with her to record any thoughts or ideal writing material. By coincidence, I explored a similiar idea in a column that I write regularly at the In-Depth Genealogist. In that article, which you can read by HERE and scrolling through until you reach Across the Pond. I explore not only recording points to jar your memory, but writing the story behind it. Even Anne mentions that sometimes she doesn’t recall the story behind all her references on the index cards.
I really enjoyed this book and have ordered my own copy from Amazon. Apart from the content, I enjoyed the writing style, it felt as though Anne Lamott was sitting in my sitting room.
A great first choice to kick off the Progressive Book Club