Actually, I don’t have a quote this time. But I do have a friend who, as he struggled with the final revisions of his due-to-be-published novel, literally lost his breath. Instead of celebrating his hard work, he was hospitalized. But he got through it, carried on, turned in the revisions, toured extensively once the novel hit bookstores, appeared on the Today Show, won a gazzilion awards, and he has been on the go honoring conference and residency invites ever since. He is an inspiration to me. He worked even when hospitalized. He worked when those around him screamed at him that the work was killing him and he shouldn’t do it—he did it anyway. And he has survived beautifully, with about 5 or 6 or books to his name now. His intense carry-on-writing-no-matter-what ethic is both fascinating and terrifying to me. I’m still losing valuable lines by not throwing down the dish towel and running for a pen. Tsk. A writer writes (this is elementary!). May is slipping through my fingers—or more like my toes since I’m mostly barefoot in this early, unwelcome and perpetual heatwave. June looms. Ring the bells! Make the coffee! Check the ink in your wireless printer! Mid-year is upon us and the words are hovering. Run for your pens and computers (and the chicken nuggets you forgot to pick up at Trader Joe’s). Get busy. Die trying (but, seriously, not literally). And say this (with a Glasgow accent): Yew! Varmints! Git out of my head and ontew thee paper!
And then swear you’ll never use exclamation points again.