Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for about a year.

She said to me, “Are you still writing?”

I’ve had this question put to me many times in my life.  I don’t think the question is asked of anyone but people in the arts.  Sometimes it even comes from people who are in the arts.  An actor once asked me this.

But the best one was an old editor of mine who I bumped into in an elevator.  The elevator was in a building where the publishing company was located.

Are you still writing, Sandra?”

No, Roger” I said.  “I’m a brain surgeon now.”

He didn’t blink because I don’t think he was listening to my answer.

Why do people ask this question?  I think if you’re a writer, painter, etc. people don’t take what you do seriously.  They don’t think it’s work.  They view it as if it was a hobby.  They can’t equate arranging words on a paper or putting paint on a canvas as work.  Especially writing, because everybody writes. And an awful lot of people think they can write more than a letter if only they had the time.

A man I know who had been sick said, “I wouldn’t have gotten through my illness if I hadn’t had mysteries to read.  Now that I’m better I’m going to write one to give back what I’ve gotten.”

I wanted to pop him one, but I didn’t.  Even I have restraint at times.  Afterall, he’d been sick.

Today when I was asked the question I said, “I’m taking a little break now.”  And I didn’t ask her if she was still practicing law.  

Friday, October 10, 2008


"The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat's mat is a story."

John LeCarre

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I may never read a book again.  Is it me or is it the books?  I know I’m having a terrible time focusing because of conditions I can’t control.  But that’s getting better.  I have less to do.  So why hasn’t my desire to read returned?

I can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.  But not books.  I read fiction almost exclusively.  Occasionally a non-fiction book will peak my interest.  But nothing interests me now.

At the moment I have two new novels from the library.  I put them on a request list months ago.  I was anxious to read them because both are written by authors I like.  I’ve started both and stopped both.

Before that I read about 385 pages of a 400 page novel and stopped.  I had no idea what I’d read and, of course, didn’t give a damn about the ending.  This has never happened to me before.  I give a book about 25 pages and if it doesn’t grab me I don’t read it.  Sometimes I can tell in 10.  But 385?

I don’t actually think it’s the books.  It’s me. Reading is one of the great pleasures of my life and not being able to do that leaves me feeling empty.

This is great: I can’t write and I can’t read.  Daytime TV?  Not yet.