Thursday, March 01, 2007
You Have To Write About This
I knew I was a writer the night my father died. My friend Angela was there and she was wearing something and changed into something else because she could foresee the sentence coming out of my pen about her outfit. It was funny, and we all had a good laugh about it, as much as you can after your father dies in a plane crash that very day. God knows we were all weary and shell-shocked, but what a strange thing to know that even other people understand that if you are a writer, there is always one part of your brain that is functioning on that level, even in the worst of times. My mind took note of all the people coming in and out of the house and what they said, particularly one woman describing her relationship with her husband, I tell him, You're my bitch, you'd better act like it. What one remembers!
My family and friends have been incredibly generous with their stories -- in fact, many of them collect them for me and present them as gifts. You have to write about this, is usually the opening line. And they are always right. My friends have very good radar and instincts for exactly what will work. When I'm feeling depressed and hopeless, a good story can set me right for days. In fact, Ang called me a couple of days ago to report that there was a picture of a Chuckie doll in the women's restroom at one of our favorite bars in Denton with his phone number underneath it. I'm sure he gets lonely, Angela said. Being a demon doll and all. Hot damn! I wrote the image down and giggled. I'm sure he does, I said, trying to imagine a character who might feel compelled to dial and see who picked up the phone.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Putting experience down on paper made it seem less chaotic, less depressing, and more sympathetic." Susan Cheever
Drinking reading suggestion: Home Before Dark Susan Cheever
Benedictions and Maledictions
38 days until The Sopranos airs!