Thursday, October 27, 2011

Immortality through the pages of a book


How many of you enjoy reading historical fiction? Da Vinci Code, I think, drew a lot of new readers to this type of fiction.  When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra is one that still sits in my TBR pile.  My fascination with books goes in so many directions that that TBR pile grows every day.  Thank God for my Kindle!

I’ve been working on a Historical Romance that has paranormal elements.  I love it, but it’s a really different piece for me.  It will take me quite a while to finish it.

Lately, my attention, like so many I’m sure, has been drawn to the new release Steve Jobs.  I have to admit I don’t read many autobiographies/biographies.  Why?  I guess mainly because they seem to be written by two types of people: people who are still alive and want to be remembered in some untrue light, or people who don’t seem to like their subject much.

It seems all too rare that we have someone like Walter Isaacson.  He’s written books on Benjamin Franklin and Einstein, but his book, Steve Jobs, has thrown him into a spotlight that I don’t think he imagined.  He seems to have truly partnered with Steve Jobs and written a book that I can’t even get my hands on!

All of this makes me think about my freshman year in college.  In one of my intro to business classes, the instructor asked the class to write their eulogy.  Wow.  I was 18, and I had to think about dying.  It’s pretty pathetic, but I imagined a fabulous career and nothing else.  No husband or children.  I’ve never forgotten that (Okay, don’t cry.  I was in college…what did I know?)

I haven’t been able to get a copy of the book to read it, but according to everything reported, Steve Jobs wanted this book to be completely honest.  Maybe even brutally so.  He wanted his children to really know him.

I think I’ve talked before about building characters out of pieces of everything around us, and in so doing in a small way we immortalize people, places, and things in the pages of the books we write.

But, have you ever wondered what people will write on their pages about you?  What do you think they’ll say?

8 comments:

Jill James said...

Angela, very deep thoughts for this chilly Thursday morning here in Northern California.

I guess I want to be remembered by my kids and grandkid for what I meant to them; be it good or bad. I hope to write enough books to leave some legacy behind. And I've told my husband, do not list me as a housewife on my obit, I wasn't married to the house.

Angela Kay Austin said...

Jill, I love your last line "...I wasn't married to the house."

Thinking of the impact Steve Jobs had on not just America, but the world...is sobering for me. There's something to be said about truly loving what you do. There's a passion that comes through no matter what obstacles are faced.

Like you, I hope to write enough books to leave a legacy behind. And I hope to be remembered "completely" by my family and friends.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I think the way you live your life, the way you touch other peoples' lives is what your legacy will be. I don't know about you, but whenever I see an object someone has given me, I think of that person, smile and have a memory. I am so blessed that the people with a negative impact on my life have been few. BUT, the jewels of my life are so many. Maybe I'd like to have 'here lies a person with heart' would be what I'd like to see at my gravesite.

Angela Kay Austin said...

Paisley, I think the way you'd like to be remembered is beautiful.

I have to admit that I'm sentimental to the point of scrap booking. I love looking back, and thinking about the person, the place, and whatever it was we did when we were there.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

To me, raising my kids well on my own. Both are super successful, and I'm really proud of them. And for my fans, stories that will transcend the ages, just as others who have written stories I love so much have also. But I also was there for my parents whenever they needed me, and so I hope to be remembered as a daughter who cherished her family too.

Josie said...

Angela,
You offered a very thought-provoking post. I was not aware of the book about Steve Jobs but I'd like to read it, also.

Gabriella Hewitt said...

Angela, what an awesome post. My 14 year old son came home and asked if he could get Steve Jobs' book. He said the boys at his school are talking about it. That means it's already translated in Japanese. I asked him if he wanted it in Japanese or English. I know English would be a challenge, but I thought then I could read it too. I had no idea that it was hard to get a hold of. Wow.

As for a legacy, what an interesting question. My boys for one. May they be productive, contributing members of society. And like those above I would love to leave many books as a legacy, knowing they entertained people even for a short moment in time. I want to look back at my life and feel that I lived it to the fullest possible and go out of this world proud of my accomplishments.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Funny you should write about this, Angela. I just sent a 'love letter' to my brother on his birthday...which outlines all the things I adore about him. It's my sister's idea...that we each write one of these letters to each other on our 2012/12 birthdays. I've finished one...three to go. And yes, we keep the letter in our file, so someone, later can use those lines in an obit or whatever. Cool, huh?

On my 'tombstone' go these words: "She wasn't finished." :-)