Something a bit more about writers

Monday, 7 July 2003

I think you need to know something a bit more about writers than you do now. Good writers sell out everyone they know eventually.

Screaming in the kitchen about who did what to whom, an iron pan goes out the patio window. Your writer-lover may appear to be in the moment, to really feel the epithets being roared, but in fact is thinking only of how delicious the scene will read. Subconsciously doing the calculus to know if antes can safely enough continue toward their limit. Being struck might cement the story with the credibility that only a police report and sticky red can.

A highschool semi-sweetheart of mine got a real book deal with a real book publisher. I found out about it after reading some of our more modern correspondence, as you know, got me wondering what the last 5 years had been to her.

It’s a book she’s worked doggedly on. Back when we were corresponding — and she thought me mad — she was after it in the way that you need to be. I can only respect that. You should buy the book when you can; she’s a terrific writer and it’s important material. It’s called Assembling My Father — A Daughter’s Detective Story. He killed himself when she was 5, I believe.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the moment and I’ve been terribly worried that I myself would go so far as to put a straw in my lovely hammerless S&W .357 so as to decorate the blank pages with anything at all just so they would stop saying I had nothing else left to record. Worried that I’d lost it.

I know now I haven’t because when I saw the extremely happy news that a friend had a book on Houghton Mifflin’s Autumn aught-four list, my first thought was of the subject matter life had laid at her feet. I thought aloud, “Some people have all the luck.”

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