Monday, November 07, 2005

Is it the season that is causing an onset of sudden desires I don't usually have? I used to want--invitations to interesting parties, good news on short story submissions, to buy something shiny and new. Now I have had flashes of desire for: a dog, a baby, to make pots and pots of hearty soups, comfortable slippers, a fireplace, a rural setting.

I have always thought dogs are too much trouble and work. You might as well have a kid, I figured. They, too, will keep you up at night, cost you much money in doctor's bills and food and shelter. A kid will whine and nag you and even be happy to see you, but at least a kid eventually becomes verbal and can employ logic and understanding and goes off into the world unto themselves. But for no clear reason a dog suddenly sounds companionable. Someone who is always happy to be your live-in pal, who lives for your love. A warm body, a bodyguard.

A baby, well, nobody really just wants a baby in and of itself. Perhaps it is more a craving toward parenthood, part biological impulse, part curiosity at the experience I've put off into my thirties.

Cooking is only something I've begun in the last year since I began working for myself. There is something about making a soup that satisfies some part of my writer's brain. You add ingredients, you simmer them, you hope they turn into something enjoyable. Much like writing a book.

Comfy slippers and a fireplace. Well, this needs no explanation.

A rural setting? Call it romantic fascination. Call it introversion. Whatever, I have always, since I was a child, been attracted to quiet, natural settings. I seek the quiescent, perhaps because, as a writer, I'm just self-absorbed enough to think that what happens in my inner life is exciting enough.

If you come to Write Livelihood for sex, drugs and debauched brushes with fame, you will have to look hard for it, and even then you will only find it in the contents of my writing (and not the essays :) ). This life is calm, measured, happy. It's a good balance.



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