I know, I know. I’ve been AWOL. But I have an excuse. My wife broke a little bone in her foot recently, so I’m driving and picking up and shopping, etc. It’s a vertical break and a clean one, not horizontal and jagged. No surgery, just one of those tall, black soft casts. I asked the orthopedic doc if he had that in another color, maybe with a sharp high heel and a little chain across the instep. Alas.
I just saw an ad for something called “A Working Writer’s Daily Planner 2011.” Under ‘What You’ll Find Inside’ there was this (partial) list: How to Format a manuscript, Story Idea Generation, How to End a Story, A Place to be Inspired,” etc.
I found that book and list profoundly depressing. I’m sure it will help somebody somewhere, but it certainly isn’t my cup of oolong. My computer formats my manuscripts, I ask the gods for story ideas and get them, I end stories when they’re just about over but not quite, and I don’t believe in inspiration, just my blue collar work ethic. I wish people would just write more and not buy yet another book about writing.
I’ll bet you’d like Elissa Schappell’s “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.” Here’s a quote from a TIN HOUSE interview where she’s talking about adolescent POV: “Intuition — that deep, inborn, and uncorrupted knowledge kids have — that really interests me. Later etiquette or other screens occlude it but kids are really alive to profound stuff. They’re on that weird threshold, they have this double optic: they’re really alive to some adult truths but then they can pull back and view the world through kid goggles.”
“Kid goggles” is very nice, isn’t it? Let’s all get some for Christmas.