"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, January 30, 2012

"After all… tomorrow is another day!”

I've been pretty busy writing and working, and didn't have a chance to put a blog post together this week. I am re-posting an old blog post from last March 22, 2011. I've never re-posted before. This is the first time. I hope you will enjoy it - again. This post is about an author and her one giant story...

"After all… tomorrow is another day!”

I recently watched the epic movie, Gone With The Wind. Over the span of my life, I would say that this viewing would land somewhere around number 20 for me. The movie is a marathon, so I watched it in three separate sittings. The last time I watched the entire movie all at one time was on a transatlantic flight from Brussels, a year and a half ago. Even though I’ve seen the picture many times, I still love to dip into the lives of Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, and Mammy…over and over again. A familiar setting and familiar characters. 
“Dreams, dreams always dreams with you, never common sense.”
Even though I’m a northern gal, I always get chills when I read the words...Margaret Mitchell’s story of the old south...as the infamous main theme rises and the sweeping, windy-looking letters crawl across the screen…Gone…With…The…Wind...
“Oh Fiddledee dee!”
Twice I’ve read this incredible novel of the Civil War old south. The book was written by Margaret Mitchell and published in 1936. The book was such an enormous success that George Platt Brett, President of Macmillan Publishing, gave all of his employees an 18% bonus that year! Incredible! In 1937, Ms. Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel. Amazing success! The movie version was released in 1939. The film was a huge sensation and took home many Oscars that year including, Best Picture, Best Actress - Vivian Leigh, Best Supporting Actress - Hattie McDaniel, Best Director - Victor Fleming…and competed against other great movies that year such as, Wuthering Heights, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and the Wizard of Oz.

"Whatever happens, I'll love you just as I do now until I die."
As the story behind the story goes, Margaret Mitchell had broken her ankle and while bedridden, wrote the manuscript. Now imagine if she hadn’t broken her ankle. I wonder if there would have been a story at all. Or would there be a different story? I find it interesting that she was given a time to write, a season, or perhaps we could call it a blessing in disguise. In any case, she took it on, writing one of the top selling classics of all time.
“You still think you're the cutest trick in shoe leather.”
They say that GWTW is the only book that she ever wrote, although an unpublished manuscript was found later in with some old letters in her things. How could she ever top GWTW?? She had this one giant story, this epic tale of war and romance in her - and perhaps it wouldn’t have been told, or told quite differently had she not broken her ankle.
“It ain't fittin'... it ain't fittin'. It jes' ain't fittin'... It ain't fittin'.”
Sadly, in 1949, Margaret Mitchell was struck by a car and died 5 days later. The man who hit her was a taxi driver but driving his own car. He was cited for drunken driving and served time in jail on manslaughter charges. Some say, Ms. Mitchell stepped off of the curb without looking.   
“As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!”
As an author, Ms. Mitchell’s first and only published novel was her one big novel…her magnum opus as Charlotte (yes, I talking about the spider) would call it. She had been given a time to write and used it well.

Have you been given a time or a season to write? Would you rather have one gigantic triumphant book or several modestly successful novels? I would love to hear from you. 
Between you, me and the gatepost,

Don't forget to stop by next week for the Civil War Bivouac! Have a great week!


Sandra Orchard said...

Loree, I missed this post the first time around. Very interesting! I started writing fiction after a back injury slowed me down :)

Jessica R. Patch said...

I loved that movie, but the book was hard to read. I also loved the epic North & South (with Swayze) That was wonderful!

I'm going with several books instead of one big one because I can't imagine just writing one. I have so many stories I want to tell and if they're successful (not epic) then I can keep doing that.

I don't know nuthin bout birthin no babies! :)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Great post, Loree! I'm glad you re-posted it!

Honestly, I have to say I would be content either way -- all I want is for the right story to impact lives for Christ. I know that sounds lame, but I truly decided a long time ago that I'd rather be an unpublished writer with twenty manuscripts that the world will never see, than an author of books that God cannot use.

Loree Huebner said...

Sandra: It's funny how we are lead to writing. I had stopped writing for a time, and I returned to writing when I broke my wrist/thumb and was out for 4 months. Sort of a blessing in disguise. I may not have gone back if not laid up for 4 months.

Jessica: Ooooh! I love The North and South books and mini-series. We have it on the old vhs...I might just have to dig it out.

Gwen: I'm with you...either way. I think I have many stories to write, but if I could have the one big one that touches many lives, that would be fine with me.

Sandra, Jessica, and Gwen - thanks for stopping by and chiming in! Love your comments!

Brandi said...

I didn't know these facts about Margaret Mitchell. Yes, I'm also glad you re-posted, Loree.

I would rather have several modestly successful novels. That way, I could keep writing :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Interesting to hear the background on this book, Loree. Thanks for sharing!

Melanie N. Brasher said...


I have a confession, I've never read this book or watched the movie--I know. I know. :) I blame it on my bicultural background. ;)

That said, I tend to gravitate toward the idea creating one really beautiful story, but I guess in order to do that I'll have to write many. :)

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

While I'd love to think I'd have one huge book that I could retire on, realistically I hope I can build a career and a loyal following. I have so many ideas I'd hate to be restricted to just one!

I tend to find that if I do have a huge stretch of time available to write, that I just end up procrastinating. I work best in small, deadline driven slots. However if I was laid up with an injury and couldn't do housework, exercise or leave the house... well then perhaps I'd eventually get sick of TV, the internet, other books and just write!

Melissa K Norris said...

I think I'd rather have several books, because I tried not to write and I can't not to do it. I have to write and I'd rather spread the joy out.

troutbirder said...

Reposting is ok. I do it on occasion. There are always new people looking in and some posts can also be updated. As to Margaret Mithcels book, sorry but I'll have to disagree with the millions of people, including all of my aunts, who loved this nostalgic drivel. It paints a picture of the slave holding south that has fostered a romantic & unthinking view of the "good old days" for generations. I'll stick with Harriet Beecher Stowes somewhat fantastical version of thos days....

MTeacress said...

My first reaction was that I'd rather have one gigantic triumphant book, but then I realized I'd rather write longer - and I'd probably stop if I was that successful that quickly.

Have a good week, Loree. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, how interesting, Loree! Thanks for sharing these facts. You are just full of interesting tidbits!

I would rather write several moderately sucessful books, I think. But ask me in six months, when we see how my debut book sales go!

Julie Musil said...

I'll bet you're busy busy busy with edits! Have fun with your revision :D

Deana said...

Thanks for the re-post Loree!
I am torn between one majorly awesome book and many mediocre. But what I would really love....a bunch of REALLY successful books:)

Jessica Nelson said...

I haven't had a large chunk of time like she did but I've had breaks every day (nap time/school time) for which I'm thankful. I had no clue she'd only published one book, and how sad about the accident. :-(

Loree Huebner said...

Brandi: MM led an interesting life. She enjoyed her success for only a short 10 yrs.

Sarah: Glad you enjoyed it.

Melanie: One beautiful story would be enough!

Charlotte: When I was off for 4 months when I broke my thumb and wrist, I procrastinated for 1 month before I started writing.

Melissa: I tend to agree. I want to write several books that touch the lives of many.

trout: I know where you are coming from. I just think her life as an author was interesting...she wrote a book that struck a cord - big time - She saw it grow into one of the biggest movies ever made, and won a Pulitzer, and died-in a terrible accident-10 years after the release of GWTW.

Michelle: That one big book would be nice!

Jeanette: LOL! I'll ask you in six months.

Julie: Revisions/edits are done. There weren't that many...a few typos - Starting a whole new book!

Deana: I think I would want a bunch of successful books.

Jessica: Yeah, she only had the one book. She probably didn't write anything else...how could she top it?

Thanks everyone for popping in and joining the conversation! I really love to hear from you.

Stacy Henrie said...

I love the movie Gone with the Wind! I read the book too, but I still think I like the movie best.

Carol Riggs said...

Wow, there certainly are a lot of quotable lines from that movie! I find myself saying the "fittin'" one on occasion myself. LOL Neat how a broken ankle could turn into such an epic novel!! ;o)

Carol Riggs said...

(Um, yeah, I said lines from the movie, but I supposed they were in the book first!!!)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Wow, tough questions!

I guess it depends on how you define success. For me, success means impacting the lives of others. I don't want to merely entertain although that has its place. I want my manuscripts to reach their intended readers.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

I have never read the novel, but I love the movie. And such interesting facts here. Sad, but interesting.

K. Victoria Chase said...

Great re-post! I learned something new about Margaret Mitchell.

Loree Huebner said...

Stacy: I do love the movie.

Carol: There are so many great lines from the movie.

Susan: I agree. I do want my writing to reach their intended readers - very important point - thank you.

Cynthia: It is such a wonderful, but sad story of an author. Makes you think.

Tori: Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for chiming in everyone!

Misha Gericke said...

That's so interesting! I think I'd rather write a few moderately successful ones, because that would imply more writing. ;-)

Loree Huebner said...

Misha: Isn't her story as an author interesting? The more I think about it, I would really want several moderately successful books too.

Jess said...

This is such a sad confession, but I've never read the book, and I've only seen snippets of the movie (but I know the general plot). I really need to correct that. I love hearing stories behind stories, and I know the world is glad that MM broke her ankle (that sounds horrible, but you know what I mean). I think I'd go with several moderately successful books rather than a life changer~ I'm just not that ambitious, and I enjoy writing to much to put all my eggs in one basket.

Loree Huebner said...

Jess: I agree. I also enjoy writing too much to put it all in one basket. Keeping you and yours in my prayers.