A Historical Moment in Time
On September 19-20, 2013 the Toni Morrison Society celebrated its 20th anniversary and Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize in Literature in Oberlin, Ohio. The Inaugural Toni Morrison Society Lecture, “ A Conversation to Have at Home: [Dis] Placing Respectability’s Visual Politics in Jazz” was delivered by Dr. Herman Beavers, University of Pennsylvania in Finney Chapel and the weekend concluded with a fantastic reading by Morrison and the 20th Anniversary Reception and Gala. Morrison’s charm and down to earth writing advice had the full attention of everyone sitting in the sold out event in Finney Chapel. She encouraged writers to figure out the best time for them to write. “I am the smartest in the morning.” Morrison said. It made me ask myself when am I the smartest? The answer: before my children were school age, it was late at night and now it has turned to early in the morning. By 8pm, I’m exhausted. Morrison emphasized the importance of creating a writing space. I am my best in silence, I need to hear myself think, I need to hear what my characters are saying. Sometimes, I listen to music to put me in a certain mood to write or I listen to music from a particular era I am writing about to create a specific scene. In general, I am in awe with what women accomplish while raising their families. I often ask myself how Morrison was able to accomplish all that she did raising her two sons. She gives me hope that I can do it too.
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