It’s Monday morning, and I’m still in the beginnings of a novel, both points at which I find any distraction alluring. So I’ve pulled out one of my favorite quotes about persistence in creative work, by the remarkable Octavia Butler: “Writing is difficult. You do it all alone without encouragement and without any certainty that you’ll ever be published or paid or even that you’ll be able to finish the particular work you’ve begun. It isn’t easy to persist amid all that. Sometimes when I’m interviewed, the interviewer either compliments me on my ‘talent,’ my ‘gift,’ or asks me how I discovered it. I used to struggle to answer this politely, to explain that I didn’t believe much in writing talent. People who want to write either do it or they don’t. At last I began to say that my most important talent — or habit — was persistence. Without it, I would have given up writing long before I finished my first novel. It’s amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.”

white rabbit

Just for today, I push aside distractions.

8 Comments on “Persistence

  1. Candace,
    Any chance that all your persistence will result in an Owen Archer video series?


    • I’m ambivalent about seeing Owen and Lucie on film before I feel finished with them, so I’ve never pushed hard for that, Bob. But, of course, it would be a thrill…. Right now I’m focused on page proofs of A Triple Knot (it’s looking great!) and writing A Rumor of Wolves, while my partner investigates getting the existing Owen Archers out in ebooks for the US. That’s enough to juggle!

      Any thoughts on who you’d cast as the main characters?


      • Now that’s a tough one since I only view older movies, so my choices could only provide a character type. Owen should be a young Clint Eastwood or a young Tom Selleck. Bess should be a young Tyne Daly. John Thoresby could be Meryl Streep, because as Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers of NPR have said, “She can play anybody.” On a more serious note, I could see him as the actor who played Prior Robert in the old Cadfael series, and that would free up a young Meryl to take the role of Lucie. Derek Jacobi would make a good Brother Wolfstan. I believe my watching habits are showing đŸ˜‰


      • I must tell you, from the very beginning Jeremy Irons has been Thoresby to me; so he would also play Ravenser with younger makeup.


  2. An excellent choice. So you have at least thought about a series. I truly hope it will come to fruition. Have you considered the other main characters?


    • Yes, with friends I’ve played with casting from time to time. Probably because I just finished watching the second season of Homeland I’m envisioning Morgan Saylor, who plays Dana, as Alisoun Ffulford (who is a focal character in A RUMOR OF WOLVES). I believe she could pull off Alisoun’s complexity. But that’s about as far as I want to go at the moment–I’m eager to finish reviewing the page proofs of A TRIPLE KNOT so I can focus on RUMOR.

      I forgot to mention how irked I was when Showtime cast Jeremy as Pope Alexander–WHAT?! The grossly fat pope played by one of the skinniest actors? (He’s marvelous in the part, but he’s just not Rodrigo Borgia.)


      • Well, my wife Spomenka just finished Apothecary Rose and said that rvrn a young Clint Eastwood could not play Owen Archer. I recently finished The Nun’s Tale and had to laugh when, at the end of the book Lief says, “To live a long life a man must know his limits.” At the end of Magnum Force Eastwood’s Harry Callahan says, “A man has got to know his limitations.”

        Casting is a strange business. I am a fan of Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache, and look forward to the video series of the books. Nathaniel Parker appears to be a fine choice for Gamache and most of the main characters are as in the books, but several seem to be really odd choices.


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