When I was in college a professor encouraged me to write fiction, but I was so dense I didn’t realize it until years later. Career choices at the time didn’t include “writer.” Even today, I’m surprised at the number of colleges offering majors in creative writing. (How are those graduates supporting themselves?) I’ve been published in literary magazines for the last five years and have made $5.
There’s no rhyme or reason to my writing habits. On some days I’ll work at the computer for 10 hours. Other days I compose long emails, shop eBay, clean the garage, scan photos, and otherwise fizz away my time instead of writing.
The intellectual and emotional capacity of some writers inspires me with awe. How could Charles Dickens have a head big enough to hold all that information? Or more recently, Saul Bellow? Or Jeffrey Eugenides today? I like movies almost as much as books and admire well-written screenplays—Pan’s Labyrinth, Crash, Short Cuts, Miller’s Crossing, and Memento to name a few.
I’m working on an antebellum story inspired by Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk, a book that illustrates how cultures can brutalize people.