Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Thornton Wilder!

So I'm perusing Writers' Almanac and see that today marks my favorite playwright's birthday.
Cool. Missed an opportunity to bake a cake, but oh well.
And then I read a bit more about Mr. Wilder and come to the conclusion that he had a bit of a wild side to him. I am fascinated with his story.
Imagine: You feel a little bored with your life. You're 65 years old, haven't published anything, really, in twenty years, and you decide to take a drive ... from Connecticut to the Southwest. You run out of gas, or your car breaks down, and you stop in some podunk town to get fuel or a new heat pump, and instead of rolling out of town afterwards, you decide to stay. You rent a room with a sink and a toilet nearby and then you plunk down to a typewriter during the day and some meanderings with the locals in the evening.
And after a year and a half, you are finished writing a book, which is then published and goes on to win the National Book Award.
And here I sit, in my kitchen in Kansas City, all filled with self loathing that I am already 46 and haven't published a novel, and can't just pick up and drive to Albuquerque where I know no one to set up shop with my laptop and a case of Diet Coke. I'm thinkin' my husband would care if I left for 18 months; the children, although they're grown, wouldn't quite understand their mama-abandonment (Mom did WHAT?!); I am having a mole removed on May 3. Besides, my personal courage needs some encouraging; gas is nearly four dollars a gallon; I don't know how to change a flat tire (what if I have a flat tire?!?!?!); I can't see well at dark to drive safely; I could be raped by savage locals who have a "thang" for middle-aged women strolling into town with just a laptop and a case of Diet coke. Et cetera.
Wish I had a slice of cake right about now.

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