I just found out.
To say that I’m saddened by the news is more complicated than it sounds. And many others feel the same.
Madeleine L’Engle was more than a writer to me. She was an influence. I started reading L’Engle’s works when she was introduced to me by a beloved English teacher. I read A Wrinkle in Time, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book. By the time I reached A Swiftly Tilting Planet, my favorite by the way, her writing style had sunk deep into the recesses of my mind. And it stayed there. And it rose up inside of me on an occasion when I began to write. I wrote, page after page, the inspiration flooding my thoughts, until I had finished the short story that my favorite English professor compared to the writing style of Madeleine L’Engle. And I was proud, honored, and humbled to be compared to such a great writer.
So, now she is gone and the articles are being written, tributes from all over, of people, writers, literary enthusiasts, and the like are pouring their hearts out over the loss of this writer who spoke to the masses. I stand amazed at the scope of her influence. I feel inspired myself, to finish the work I started, to write the books that are in my head, the books that are a prototype of L’Engle’s imagination.
Will I do it? Honestly, I don’t know. I’ll try. I want to. I need to. I just don’t know if I have the discipline to.
For now, I’ll start with my short story. It needs tweaking, but it isn’t bad as it is. Perhaps that is my beginning.