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A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is. When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and, alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man-or this woman-may use a typewriter, or profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I do. As he writes, he may drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time, he may rise from his table to look out the window at the children playing in the street, or, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or even at a black wall. He may write poems, or plays, or novels, as I do. But all these differences arise only after the crucial task is complete-after he has sat down at the table and patiently turned inward. To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.
Five Questions: L-ement
1. Why do you blog?
It’s a nice way to be reflective without having to think in the same terms one must think in when she writes creative nonfiction for publication.
2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
This is a tough one – there are so many! Joan Didion, Salman Rushdie, Barbara Lazear Ascher, and Amy Hempel have all influenced the way I write and the way I think about reading and writing.
3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
MetaxuCafe at http://metaxucafe.com/
PowellsBooks Blog at http://www.powells.com/blog/
pulse.inthefray.com at http://inthefray.org/?op=newindex&catid=11
4. Why do you read fiction?
Because I like a good story, particularly one that, on the surface, seems removed from my own life and from which I can learn something about us as people and about myself as a writer and reader.
5. What makes you laugh?
David Sedaris, sarcasm, witty one-liners loaded with political or cultural relevance.
Laura Nathan blogs at L-ement