First off this morning, a big shout out to Vincent Bugliosi, whose book The Prosecution of George W. Bush is climbing the bestseller lists even as it has been completely ignored by mainstream media* (cowards). Way to go, Vincent; I can't wait to get your book. (Bugliosi is most well-known as the author of the bestselling true crime classic Helter Skelter, and was also the prosecuting attorney in the Charles Manson case.)
I also read one of the best nonfiction statements about writing and life that I've ever read this weekend. I went to a used book sale, and on a whim picked up a slim book titled The Writer on Her Work, primarily because the first two names I saw on it were Anne Tyler and Joan Didion. I love both Tyler and Didion, and the essay from Tyler, titled "Still Just Writing." Here's an excerpt from the last page:
"I feel I am only holding myself together by being extremely firm and decisive about what I will do and what I will not do. I will write my books and raise the children. Anything else just fritters me away. I know this makes me seem narrow, but in fact, I am narrow. I like routine and rituals and I hate leaving home; I have a sense of digging my heels in. I refuse to drive on freeways. I dread our annual vaction. Yet I'm continually prepared for travel: it is physically impossible for me to buy any necessity without buying a travel-sized version as well. I have a little toilet kit, with soap and a nightgown, forever packed and ready to go. How do you explain that?
As the outside world grows less dependable, I keep buttressing my inside world, where people go on meaning well and surprising other people with little touches of grace..."
I am in love with Anne Tyler.
*Thanks to Cindy Orr at the Reader's Advisor Online for the link.