Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Cross Creek," the movie

I love movies where the main character is a writer, especially one that has to struggle for success.

Last night I watched Cross Creek, a movie I'd seen before (it was made in 1983), but one that has stayed with me because of the main character's determination to become a writer.

In 1928, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings left her husband and New York state for a piece of real estate she'd never seen -- a rundown house with an orange grove in the bayou country of central Florida. She wanted to write a Gothic novel, a genre that was very popular at the time. She planned to work at it for a minimum of eight hours a day. Although ready a freelance writer, she had never been able to publish any of her short stories.

In Cross Creek, in spite of holes in the roof, mosquitoes, and her neighbour's marauding hogs, Marjorie sat at her typewriter till she finished that Gothic novel.
When the novel was rejected, it took a while for her to get over her disappointment. Can you relate?

Eventually, she took her editor's advice and began to write about what she was familiar with, to tell the stories of the simple, honest people of Cross Creek, of the wonders of the natural world around her. With renewed determination, she went back to work and found herself so engrossed that she was writing twelve to fourteen hours a day. It's interesting to note that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, said that for her writing was agony.

I found the movie, Cross Creek, very inspiring. Surely, I should be able to shut out all the daily distractions and get to work.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's Cracker-style house, her orange grove and vegetable gardens are today open to the public. We plan to visit Cross Creek when we go to Florida later this spring. I'm sure that historic place will feed my writer's soul. I can't wait!

Till next time.

1 comment:

Willow said...

I'm sure I've seen this one, but so long ago I don't remember much about it, except that Mary Steenbergen was in it. I'll have to rent it--sounds inspirational!