Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Tomorrow is a museum day. I get far too few of those. Wednesday will be another.
Then it's back to work on "Cabinet 34, Drawer 6." But there was Significant Progress today.
Tonight's not going to be much of an entry, as I have to be up very early and, having written all day long, there's not much left to say at the moment. I run short of words and need recharging. That's how Christa Faust used to put it. "You have to recharge sometime," she'd tell me, trying to lure me west for adventures in Los Angeles or San Francisco or Tijuana. She never managed to lure me to Tijuana, but then I don't lure easily. One night or another I will tell you a very good Christa and Caitlin story, but not tonight, because all those stories are long. But she's right. Stories, no matter how fantastic, come from life and life does not happen in the small, white room where I sit all day and write stories. This is why the stuff I wrote as a teenager was awful, and why the stuff I wrote in college wasn't much better. Fiction does not arise from will alone, the will to make things up. That's necessary (maybe), but it's surely not sufficient. I try not to write about places I haven't visited firsthand. Like all my rules, that one gets broken from time to time, but I do try. I've never been to Johnstown, for example, or Milligan, Florida for another. If I ever have to teach a writing seminar (and I hope it never comes to that) I could say something absurd like: "The eye, the nose, the tongue, the tips of the fingers, the ears, all these are the lens of the writer's camera. The mind is the darkroom of the soul." And, of course it sounds like shit, but it's true, more or less. I think a lot of things that sound like shit are true. That's what we get for living Now, instead of Then. That's probably always been true, too. But I've been to Storm King and Sydenham and Hollywood, which is a pretty good start.
Rambling means it's time to go to bed, Caitlin.
Sweet dreams. Or whatever you prefer.