Thursday, 22 September 2011
Author Spotlight - May Williams discusses "mood" in writing
Mood. Are you in a good mood? Are you in a bad mood? (I've learned over the years to never ask that question. Asking only magnifies a bad mood.) Mood determines almost everything we do and our reaction to events. A few weeks ago when I sat with my children to watch the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, I thought about the mood of the nation. I recall the mood of the actual 9/11 - fear, paranoia, sadness. The fear has faded to be replaced by a profound sorrow ten years later. Yet, on September 12, 2011, we all went to work, played ball in the yard, and watched for the first signs of autumn. Life goes on, we go on.
I often thought about mood when I was writing Landed by a Flyboy. What was the mood of the nation at the height of WWII? The mood of the people after seeing war or waiting to hear news from loved ones? Through it all, life went on and that's what I have always admired about the WWII generation. I love reading about WWII, but not the battles. I leave those books to my husband. I read about the women who joined the service in the Wacs, Waves, Wasps, or Spars. I read about Rosie the Riveter. I read about the housewives who grew Victory Gardens and figured out how to feed and cloth their kids when supplies were rationed.
I think in the post 9/11 world we are more like the WWII generation than we realize. We've struggled with the somber mood of tragedy, but tucked in and made the best out of the last ten difficult years. I worry about the nation's mood because I've got two kids. They don't know any America but the post 9/11 version. I worry and then I remember that the WWII generation is considered the greatest generation. Maybe our kids' generation will be great, too.