Monday, January 4, 2010

We Should All Be So Lucky

‘Notes From a Writer's Mind' by Brian Doyle

(All day long) Money money money money money money girls money money money money money money beer money money money money money money money beer with girls.

(At a reading) How many people are here? Will they buy my book? Does the microphone work? Do I need the microphone if only four people show up? Is everyone here related to me? What if everyone leaves during the reading? What if no one wants me to sign a book? What if all these people are here to return my book? What if they throw books at me? Is the microphone big enough to hide behind? Is my fly zipped?

(At a reading with other writers) Who goes first? Who’s the headliner? Should I go first and get it out of the way and then sit and think about girls and beer or should I pretend to be the main draw? What if these other writers are poets and they drone on incessantly about their gallbladders and previous rafts of husbands? What happens in the question-and-answer period when someone asks a general question and there’s that uncomfortable silence because no one wants to be the assertive person who answers first? Should I jump in then and talk about gallbladders? I could tell a joke: there were these three gallbladders in a bar ...

(At an awards ceremony) What if I win and have to give a speech and can’t get a word out and my gallbladder falls out onto the stage and shimmies off into the orchestra pit? Should I stoop to retrieve it or just let it go where it will? What if I don’t win? Do I have to be polite and unassuming or can I stand on my chair and scream imprecations? What if I win and do like Marc Acito did that time, run down the aisle and run up onto the stage and trip on the top step and go flying across the stage into the stunned arms of the mistress of ceremonies? What if I win and get up on the stage and start laughing so hard remembering how Marc Acito flew through the air that my gallbladder falls out?

(Wheedling a publisher) Because this is the greatest book that anyone ever in the history of the universe ever wrote, except for “Always Coming Home” by Ursula K. Le Guin. Because this book is so much better than a stick in the eye. Because this book is way better than any of the other books that you have published, one of which seemed to be the confessions of a gay heron. Because Ken Kesey is deceased and someone should write wild muddled novels about rain. Because I bought the beer today. Because there’s a shred of a chance we can persuade Gus Van Sant to make it into a movie because you know his aunt’s cousin’s previous rafts of husbands. Because the market niche for novels written from the point of view of gallbladders is, shall we say, wide open.

(In the middle of any piece of writing) O my gawd this is drivel. This is the worst muddle ever inflicted on an unsuspecting populace. I should crumple this and go into insurance. I should cease to write forevermore. I should be a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas. Maybe the Mariners are on. I should eat. Maybe I should take another shower. Who will ever pay for this muck? This is worse than anything Jerzy Kosinski ever wrote, and what could be worse than that? My gallbladder hurts. Just one more cookie. Is that the mailman? How do you spell labyrinthine? Should I do the laundry? Hey, Ichiro tripled!

(At the beginning of any piece of writing) This is the greatest idea ever! I am a genius! No one ever had this idea before! What a great first line! Being a writer is better than a stick in the eye! This is so exciting! Those words were never in that order in the whole history of the English language! That’s incredible! That’s astounding! Now what?

No comments: