Writing is like …

On Nov. 1 I had the pleasure of meeting with Blake Bailey (A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates and Cheever: A Life), a lifelong friend of a friend. Blake was in town for a couple of panels at the Texas Book Festival and we met for breakfast before he took a flight out of town. We had a rollicking good time talking about writers: Yates, Cheever, Franzen, Whitehead, Plimpton, and I’m sure a few others that I’m forgetting and we generally had a blast even though there was no sign of Irish Coffee at our table. Not that we both didn’t think about it. Speaking of Yates … I’d be leaving something out if I didn’t credit the writing in Revolutionary Road for jump-starting me back into my novel, Before Everything. I’m thrilled with the progress and am thankful for each day that I get a chance to sink my teeth into it. Even if only for a few pages, a page, a couple of paragraphs. Competing with the complexity and general business of life is difficult but when I’m there, in that place, trying to corral a mixture of fictional magic with the narrative of a story, it’s euphoric. Everything else falls away and when that time ends, I’m grateful. (Art is like sex: when you’re doing it, nothing else matters. – John Banville)  That being said, I’m debating … To Post or Not To Post? I’m on Twitter and, a few days ago (in three consecutive posts), I put up the first paragraph. Now, I’m considering putting up the first chapter and going from there. Books I’m reading: Updike’s Couples and the Paris Review interviews. Recently finished: George, Being George: George Plimpton’s Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals — and a Few Unappreciative Observers. Edited by Nelson W. Aldrich, Jr. Plimpton was our neighbor when we lived in New York and I loved this book!

Thanks for reading.

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