“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” ― Flannery O’Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose
I was killing time in a book store earlier, and I picked up Theo Pauline Nestor’s Writing Is My Drink. It is exactly the sort of book I find addictive: part memoir, part writing how-to. What I thought as I sucked up the print on the first few pages, was I should have written this book.
All right, I didn’t have the alcoholic, single mother (my mother has never touched alcohol except to once — recently — take a sip of my Chardonnay and declare that it was not sweet, and she was married to my father for 58 years). But as a child I did have that feeling — at least at times — of trying to make myself very, very small so that no one would see me. I did have that feeling — at times — that no one could see me, no one could hear me, and no one would miss me if I disappeared. I don’t think I’m at all unique in this; in fact, I think that all of us have that feeling at one time or another. And writers, even more so.
Writing is a way of making oneself visible.
I didn’t buy the book (and I regret not having it, not being able to spend all evening reading it). I did, however, buy John Greene’s The Fault in Our Stars for one of my 20-year-olds. A young woman — a clerk — peeked over my shoulder and said, “If that’s a gift, wrap it with a box of tissues.” I asked her who she could compare to Tamora Pierce for one of my other girls, and I was treated to a 20-minute rave about a book … Title Escapes Me … but I bought that one, too. I have now bought a book for everyone living in my household.
My work here is done. 😉