Remembering Ursula Le Guin
In 7th grade, my English teacher wanted to pick a book in a different genre and see if she could get some of the boys more engaged. (Plus, she knew it was right up my alley.) Thus, Ms Hardt gave me my first introduction to Ursula Le Guin, having our class read A Wizard of Earthsea.
I was already a huge fantasy fan and devoured it in a day. But, because it was a class assignment, I had to reread it, section by section. Studying it and discussing each scene. That’s when I truly recognized how deep the world building was, how integral the central themes were, and how skilled of a writer Le Guin was.
I already knew I wanted to be a writer, I already loved the genre, but “A Wizard of Earthsea” gave words and truth power–literally.
If you knew the ‘true name’ of a person, or object, or creature? You could control it.
When I write, whether it be fiction or not, I strive to use the right word. The one with not just the right definition, but the one with the proper connotations.
When I talk (or message) someone, I strive to use the right words. The ones that will open their ears and make my voice ring true to their ears. The sweet music of “yes, that makes sense. Of course it is that way.”
When I write, I have the idea and the direction of the story in my head, but I’m looking for the right words, for the right details. The words that ring out in truth and make it such that, “yes, that makes sense. Of course it is that way. The character would have always done that.”
Like tuning an instrument, when the words ring out true, that’s music to my ears.
Thank you Ms Hardt for having us read A Wizard of Earthsea.