Monday, November 19, 2007

Art for Writers: The Elements of Style

Interviewers sometimes ask writers to name the music they listen to when they write. The answer for me is: I tried it once, and I'm just not that talented. It was like trying to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time.

So I vote for a new question: What art do you like to look at when you write? (Or I guess that would actually be before you write or during breaks in your writing or while you're pacing up and down, wolfing a chocolate muffin, and thinking of what to write?)

Here's my answer to that question:

but what I really want is for Maira Kalman to sell her illustrations for it in poster sizes:

Illusion. See allusion.

I don't know why, but I think looking at that on my wall
would make me a better writer.

Go see more fabulous art by Maira Kalman. It'll make you happy. I promise.

Or go look at the dizzying array of talent at the Robert's Snow auction, which begins today. I apologize in advance if I outbid you. I need my art, remember?

P.S. Have you seen The Elements of Style movie?


  1. I have this book, Sara, and I love it. It just makes me feel better.

  2. Been a Maira fan from way back. Her books do make me happy. Thanks for reminding me to look at them again so I can recharge.

  3. Can't listen to music when I write, either. Don't get how anyone can. Brain not big enough.

  4. Sara, This is one of my FAVORITE BOOKS. I keep a paperback copy of The Elements of Style on my desk to abuse and write in, and I keep the Kalman illustrated edition on my desk to look at when I want to be amused.

    Have you ever read her book Fireboat? It's an amazing, wonderful story--so well told. It is, by far, the best book for kids to come out about the 9/11 attacks in New York.

  5. I haven't read Fireboat, but I saw it on her site and it looks fabulous. What a great idea, to have TWO copies of The Elements of Style, one to mark up and use, and one to admire. Adrienne, I think you should teach a course in how to live well!


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