Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Writing and Reading

I recently sat in the office of a paid professional listener, unloading the contents of my personal baggage onto her obviously hand-loomed, checkered hot pink and lime green rug. A box of tissues on a nearby table was seeing a lot of action. As I recounted a particularly absurd moment that had recently transpired, she suddenly laughed out loud and exclaimed, "You should write a play!"

                     Gordon Studer
Having her find the horrors of my life fodder for good theater was not all that comforting, although she tried to make me feel better by saying she knew I would do a great job. The thing is, I don't want to spend my time writing about my own life; it's enough of a burden some days just to live it. What I wish is that I had the talent and imagination to create a whole other person's life, something I have never been able to do.

So it's with awe that I read a new book written by a 50-year-old woman who somehow knows what it feels like to be a 27-year-old man. The book is Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch," and even though I am only on page 19, I can tell it's a great story. Still, I wonder--how can you make up a whole other life, with memories and likes and dislikes, without having some of your own slip in? I might try that, after I finish this book. Only 762 pages to go....

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