“I placed the highest priority on the sort of life that lets me focus on writing, not associating with all the people around me. I felt that the indispensable relationship I should build in my life was not with a specific person, but with an unspecified number of readers. As long as I got my day-to-day life set so that each work was an improvement over the last, then many of my readers would welcome whatever life I chose for myself. Shouldn’t this be my duty as a novelist, and my top priority? My opinion hasn’t changed over the years. I can’t see my readers’ faces so in a sense it’s a conceptual type of human relationship, but I’ve consistently considered this invisible, conceptual relationship to be the most important thing in my life.” (37-8)
“The same can be said about my profession. In the novelist’s profession, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no such thing as winning or losing. Maybe numbers of copies sold, awards won, and critic’s praise serve as outward standards for accomplishment in literature, but none of them really matter. What’s crucial is whether your writing attains the standards you’ve set for yourself. Failure to reach that bar is not something you can easily explain away. When it comes to other people, you can always come up with a reasonable explanation, but you can’t fool yourself. In this sense, writing novels and running full marathons are very much alike. Basically, a writer has a quiet, inner motivation, and doesn’t seek validation in the outwardly visible.” (10)
so i didn’t win a strombo bobblehead today, but the lovely couple beside me who went to his high school did, so it’s all good. this weather is a bit distressing, but i have to say i appreciate the chance to strut about in my leather jacket and the finery that i procured from the clothing swap that i hosted on the weekend. i brought some things to the kind exchange and traded for some great bangles and got to cavort with another great couple of marriage candidates-congrats courtenay and jeff. i blog this before i leave for dinner at la carnita and i look forward to any resto that uses that many hip hop references in their bio (let’s hope it’s not in a hipstrionic way). i listened to the great philly free library podcast this morning with thomas kellar and i was excited by a lot of ideas mentioned-the creativity of using supersoakers to create steam in one’s oven to achieve great bread, and the idea of the cookbook audience being the chefs-“i’m always asked this question of if i’ve written for the home chef. well, who is the home chef? i know home chefs who can barely boil water and i know home chefs that are almost as good as i am. we write for ourselves, just like we cook for ourselves when you come to the restaurants. you want that-i have very high standards and if i’m presenting you something that pleases me, chances are, it will please you.” brilliant. and exactly the same sentiment as the above, taken from the bedside table of one great lady. thanks for letting me poach….