“During the night something like a miracle happened: Jim’s age grew an extra digit. He was nine years old when he went to sleep, but ten years old when he woke up. The extra number had weight, like a muscle, and Jim hefted it like a prize. The uncles’ ages each contained two numbers, and now Jim’s age contained two numbers as well.”
– Jim The Boy, by Tony Earley
I have not been a writer my whole life: I came to that lately. I have been a reader my whole life, and since starting to put words to paper my love of books has grown. I will be reading or listening to a book and have to stop to re-read or rewind a passage marveling at “how they put that”. That said, I have always loved certain books and certain lines in certain books, so I thought I’d start to share some with you. These phrases, they are my inspiration, and I’d love to share them with you.
This one is from Jim the Boy, by Tony Earley. I haven’t read the book in forever, but I remember loving this line the first time I read it. I even read it to my mom, my partner in book love, so she could hear how wonderful it was this first line in Book 1 of the novel. Earley captures the magic of turning 10 from a child’s perspective in such a unique way. While my daughter has always talked about how many years she has in fingers or hands, I love how Earley describes it in terms of digits, and how ten has the same number of digits as his uncles’ ages: so momentous and yet a mystery there. Why uncles and not parents? I tried to create a similar feel in my story The Fisherman. Earley’s is much clearer though. There is no question about how old Jim is or what Early is trying to convey. But this writing thing, it’s all about learning right?
The book is a great read, and I’ve tucked it away in my backpack to enjoy again. Watch for more favorite lines in future posts!