Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Lessons from Madeleine L'Engle: Writing as Wish Fulfillment
Perhaps my greatest teacher for this phenomenon was witnessing the way my grandmother Madeleine L'Engle lived, and what was manifested in her writing. My Gran was devout, yet she was also known to raise her fist at God. The tenet of love conquering all that is so ingrained in her writing is wish fulfillment - it is the writing herself that brought her to her faith. In Wrinkle, she was Meg, struggling with all of the Divine questions.
As an only, lonely child, she always wanted a large family, so she wrote about large families, and intertwined her characters throughout her books so she never had to say goodbye. (This is one of my favorite pictures of my Gran - when she was Madeleine Camp. 14 years old, and already writing up a storm!)
And she created a large family - not only in her fiction and her biological family, but in extending her generosity to her readers. They too, became like family.
And who doesn't want love to conquer all, for the "goodness" in the world and in ourselves to outweigh the "badness". We don't all have to believe in the same gods to be on the same page about that one.
I wish that she could have read Edges. I know she would have appreciated me writing about god du jour. I know she would have applauded that my ending wasn't neat and tidy, that it was true to life.
We write to express our hopes and dreams. We write to find our faith. We write to know ourselves.
At least I do. What about you?