So you can read my books

Sunday, May 18, 2014



I wrote of Robert Louis Stevenson some days back.

His serialization of KIDNAPPED began in 1886 this month.

  Taken with the earlier Treasure Island (1883) and A Child's Garden of Verses (1885),

it established Stevenson as one of England's most popular writers of "Children's Literature."

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, provoked by a dream and written in a ten-week burst during the writing of Kidnapped,

was also published during this period.
Jekyll and Hyde Title.jpg
Title page of the first London edition (1886)

Though Stevenson wrote prolifically and in almost every genre, these four books from the mid-1880s are, for most, those upon which his reputation stands.

Few have ever questioned the remarkable industry and spirit of a life lived in the shadow of death.

A year after Kidnapped he left Scotland and southern England for America in search of adventure and a better climate for his tuberculosis.

Writing continued on land and sea at 400 pages a year for twenty years, reckoned his first biographer. From one letter home a year before Stevenson died:

    "For fourteen years I have not had a day's real health;
    I have awakened sick and gone to bed weary; and I have done my work unflinchingly.
    I have written in bed, and written out of it, written in haemorrhages,
    written in sickness, written torn by coughing, written when my head swam for weakness;

     And for so long, it seems to me I have won my wager and recovered my glove....

    And the battle goes on 'ill or well.'

     It is a trifle; so as it goes. I was made for a contest."

So what is stopping you from writing?


  1. In my case two things stop me writing. Of those, lack of talent is the biggest.
    I am very, very grateful for the driven writers - those who MUST write like Stevenson and for all those with the imagination, the determination, the industry and the drive.
    Thank you one and all.

  2. I am just... heavy sigh, overwhelmed. I been trying to keep up find myself to a world of limitations, the simple things have become difficult. Difficult things are impossible, my challenge is to find a place where I am in control. I have been finding I am letting too many people down, this is consuming my head... my words are blocked. Off topic? Maybe... I just don't know... heavier sigh.

  3. This afternoon, nothing will stop me!

  4. Not everyone has the stamina and self discipline to power through like Stevenson.

    What keeps me from writing? When my head or my heart is elsewhere. Sometimes if I look at work already written, I can edit if I cannot create.

  5. Well, I was going to respond to the writing bit of this post. I am stuck with my WiP so I have been reading A LOT in an effort to get unstuck. I will go back to it after I finish this book. Hopefully, more inspired!

    Now The Flash... I just saw a preview on the CW yesterday. Since I watch Arrow, I was half expecting this already. But, I really couldn't be happier. I love how they spun this one off.

  6. I knew poor RL Stevenson had TB, but not that he suffered so much. Years ago I read an essay by Nabokov on Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, and Nabokov praised and parsed it to show why it's so very good from a literary standpoint, not just as entertainment. That RLS could achieve this much while being so sick--it humbles me.

  7. Elephant's Child:
    Thank you for reading our books! Each of us can do more than we think possible. :-)

    We grow stronger through struggling against resistance. Sometimes we have to allow our lives to lie fallow awhile as farmers do their over-tilled land. And if even dirt needs a rest, how much more do we!

    Today I have been at it as a rare blood courier since 4:40 A.M. this morning, and here it is 7 P.M.!!

    I've written one lone paragraph on THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT! But at least I added some words to my tale! :-)

    I usually read the last 2 paragraphs of what I've written, and like today, I can at least then come up with one new one!

    I think THE FLASH will be fun, instead of the dour super-hero of late. I am looking forward to it!!

    That had to have been some nightmare that spawned that tale, right?

    RL Stevenson, to have written in such pain, is an inspiration. And in the South Seas island on which he lived, he fought for native human rights as well so strongly that he was almost deported. He was a hero.

    Each of us casts ripples of which we are unaware. Thanks for visiting and commenting. :-)