She splits her year between New York City and Arizona. Ihave been a fan since her first book and especially enjoyed
"The Artist Way." I like to believe that I was one of the
first to devour it page by page, exercise by exercise. Not
just once but six times. Having studied with Julia through
the years, not just in my pajamas but in workshops and one-
on-one, I ponder how "The Sound of Paper" escaped my notice
until last month.
One of Julia’s gifts for showing readers instead of telling
them, I believe, begins with her perception. As a writer
myself, I saw myself as a writer for some years. But Julia
sees herself as an artist. And as I read the rhythmic
cadence, I see Julia swaying in front of a large white
canvas swirling colors on a brush getting ready to paint
with words. A creator of language, of prose, singular words
that say in just an instant what a picture says in a
thousand brush strokes. Mona Lisa step aside.
Julia took a year’s worth of morning pages and spun them
into this book, adding an exercise at the end of the
chapters, and leaving off the table of contents, as if we
wouldn't notice. It doesn't really matter though, her
eloquence sent visions of possibilities for myself into my
The exercises show us how to step beyond who we are or what
we can accomplish as a writer. It is from here that one can
make the transition to artist. At times the exercise seemed
too simple and began to lull me to mindful meditation. Her
words from earlier years, ones of trust, kicked me out of my
trance and allowed me to place the ink onto the page. These
resisting moments let go of the word writer and transferred
my view to artist.
Julia shares her love for Manhattan and Taos and the music
of Rogers and Hammerstein. She shares experiences about
writing music and plays. In Taos, she shares too many
chapters on its drought and how it compares to writer block.
In frustration, I skipped several chapters because the
drought was giving me drought.
You will enjoy this book, not as a fast read, but like a
multi-vitamin -- one (chapter) a day. You can sit back, as
if in a five-star restaurant, smile at the penguin-style
waiter, place the satin napkin in your lap, and let the
rhythm roll off the page onto your plate. The feast will
definitely empower your artist view. A book worth keeping
for additional takeout.
(c) 2005, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.