The memory starts here, in my apron pocket, with the gun. I remember holding it. It felt good, cold. And inside my body it was hot, blistering hot, and I took the gun out of my apron and started walking across the kitchen floor and it came to me that I had memorized every squeal in those old wood planks and I went to the cellar door, which was laughing blatantly in my face, and I got my hammer and I started whaling on that door thinking, . . .
Needing to Write
Why write? This is a question I often ask myself. I like to call writing my joyful affliction. I do think of it as something of a condition that I have figured out how to manage and live with. I think people idealize what it is to be a writer, conjuring up images of Hemingway on the African plains, or Jack Keroac at his typewriter with a cigarette and bottle of gin beside him. The truth is, though, that writing is hard work – it requires diligence and stamina and, mostly, a long term commitment. It’s one thing to put words down on paper, it is quite another to make words into art. On some days, your brain and fingertips are in perfect synch, but on others it’s like trying to dig your way out of prison with a spoon.