I asked a Hamline workshop once how many of them actually liked to write and most of them preferred having written: the pride in finishing, the appearance at a local book store, the feel of the book or magazine in one’s hand.

Only a few preferred the quotidian: sitting down with two or three hours, a cup of coffee or tea, the favorite pen, the notebook with its inviting blank pages. I know painters who love the paint over the painting and potters who prefer clay to bowl. Even my mechanic likes the wrench and the spark plug more than the sound of the tuned engine. And once Buddy the cat has patiently stalked the bird beside the avocado tree, once it’s dead he just stares at it.

Ron Koertge