Fiction Daily.
A blog on writing, writers and why we read. Posted most mornings by Marion Blackburn.
Answered prayers
It was St. Teresa of Avila who said, "Answered prayers cause more tears than those that remain unanswered."

Truman Capote knew this, as he was working on a novel of this title when he died.

I read that Doris Lessing's Nobel Prize has also had a dampening effect on her writing. "All I do is give interviews and spend time being photographed," she said.

As for her writing, she said, "It has stopped, I don't have any energy any more. This is why I keep telling anyone younger than me, don't imagine you'll have it forever. Use it while you've got it, because it'll go, it's sliding away like water down a plughole."

Those words were chilling for me ... already, it is a tenuous ability, this writing. When I think how easily what little ability I have could slip away, I realized I had to get to work.

So goes the continuing effort to work enough to make a living and make sure my clients get their projects completed ... but let go of some jobs or not court new ones ... so I can get to work on my novels, short stories and articles.

What an example Ms. Lessing has been for so many of us ... her "Golden Notebook" was a seminal novel for me, the story of a young woman embroiled in socialist politics ... and the dashing young men of the times ... I could relate so much to the dual attraction of a politically charged leading man in those days, my 20s.

Now I am nearing a corner of my life ... in only 2 1/2 years I will be 50 years old. I remember an editor describing to me the feeling that "a curtain was drawing closed" in his life. I fell that curtain is ahead for me, as well.

A final thought on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the idea that we hate what we create, that it falls short every time of our ideals.

There's an old story that says Amedeo Modigliani, the artist who painted the long-faced women with deep secrets, destroyed many of his works ... tossing them into the river in disgust.

The humanitarian crisis continues in Burma, as do wars throughout our planet today and we can meditate for peace (if nothing else) to help our brothers and sisters.

AHEAD: "On the Road"
2008-05-12 20:00:11 GMT
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