Books of the Week:
Since I’ve been travelling, I’m doing a lot of rereading. I’m going through Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry books in preparation for the publication of the final one. And I have decided to get back to my mystery roots and read a lot of Agatha Christie and a lot of Rex Stout. Short, concise, and to the point: Christie and Stout have more in common than you’d think. When I’ve finished travelling, I’ll start reading new stuff again, and I’ll have more to talk about.
BLESSED BE THE TIES
Yesterday was Mother’s Day, a holiday created to sell cards, flowers, and candy. It’s also been a boon to restaurants everywhere in America. But the sentiment at the heart of it is a real one. It’s a day of recognition, a day to stand back and really consider a basic relationship.
Writers don’t create from a vacuum. We are all at the center of our own webs, our ties to family and friends and business associates — our origins and our futures.
When I was a “tween” and a teen, I held the firm belief that writers had to live in New York, had to play poker, and they had to drink . . . a lot. So with this being my mindset, I’d often find a fake id maker and frequently drink, as well as try and get into as many shady poker games as I could… Maybe this was the Hemingway model? I know he lived in Florida in the latter part of his life, and I have no idea if he played poker or not, but this was my naïve impression.
I was sure it would embarrass my parents horribly if I carried on in such a fashion. Though carousing in college seemed to be expected, I figured it would be sort of depraved to carry that behavior any farther.
When I finally achieved adulthood – much later than I should have, frankly – I finally understood that writers are all just people, and people come in all sorts and persuasions. Some writers DO live in New York and drink a lot. Lots of writers can play poker. But a vast majority of them live scattered across the world and have more or less moderate-to-negligent alcohol habits. And some of them prefer a vigorous game of Scrabble.
Think of how boring our work would be if we all adhered to my stereotype! I believe it’s our ties that make our work diverse and rich. Our families and friends (and enemies, too) will always be huge influences on our writing.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.