I take for granted how difficult and rare it is for someone to write a great book. On one hand, I think it's just about being able to create a memorable story and then putting the words in the right order enough times to make it appealing. I'm sure that there is a lot of pushing and pulling to get the words out and it requires real focus and devotion, but with time and practice, I feel like it could happen with more frequency than it actually does.
I read L.M. Montgomery's long-loved classic and I realize it takes more than that. It takes magic and you're either born with it or you aren't. I suppose the conventional term for that is called a gift.
If she did any pushing and soul-wrestling to create Anne of Green Gables, I see no evidence of that fact. She made it feel effortless.
How she was able to recall girlhood, so precisely, is beyond my magic, or my comprehension. Montgomery had a place card for every girl...the bratty ones, the mean ones, the quiet ones, the endearing ones and the outgoing ones.
She reminded me of the many packages of fruit snacks I brought and shared with my friend Laura. She reminded me of the slap bracelets that my friend Nicole had (and I didn't) that how Nicole would allow me to wear them while we were at school, so that I'd feel cool too. She reminded me of the time I was dared to kiss Lonnie on the playground and subsequently sent to the principal’s office. She reminded me of the many times I endured punishments that would ruin my life (!), only to see that life rolled on just fine afterwards.
Here I am, in my thirties, just like Montgomery when she wrote Green Gables and I could not have pulled all of those feelings, all of those universal girlhood things out of my brain, out of my heart and created an Anne Shirley. Forget about putting all those words in the right order!
Magic I tell you.