Over my desk, I have a silver bulletin board full of pictures and postcards. The objects on the board, by and large, do not change. They were chosen as inspirations of sorts -- they include a tarot card, representing The Tower as Janis Joplin, postcards of Bonnie and Clyde, Ice-T, a memento from the Texas Rangers Museum that says, Live Free or Die, a picture of my friend Hank playing with an plastic orange skeleton, a photograph of the grave of Marie Leveau, and a host of other objects. For an entire year, I've written one blog entry a day and each day I look at a postcard of the painter Mark Rothko staring at a blank canvas, preparing to work. Some days this image pleases me; other days I find it terrifying. What could be more wonderful than to begin a new work? And what is approached with more fear and loathing? So I have sat in front of my computer and some days it's like breathing and other days is like running uphill with lead weights.
I cannot tell you what the optimum conditions for writing are -- the process is as mysterious to me as physics or balancing my checkbook. But it gives me a reason for getting up in the morning and that's a start. And sometimes I even dream about having breakfast at a diner with Mark Rothko; he's not depressed or suicidal. He's talking about his next great work and offers to pick up the check, but he never does.
Michelle's Spell of Day
"Live with the gods." Marcus Aerelius, Meditations
Drinking music suggestion: Lovesick, Broke, and Driftin Hank Williams III
Benedictions and Maledictions
Eight days until The Sopranos airs!