I never turn on the light. A bright room turns the windows into mirrors, and then I must look at myself with the alien blue halo over my face as I sit at the computer. Sucked into the computer. Merging cyborg love – painful – with the computer. Because I am Writing.
It’s not romantic.
I try to think about typewriters. About words like “vellum” and “parchment”. I try to remember the musty animal smell in the creased parts of old books. The dignity of their yellow pages. But it doesn’t matter. It’s always just 1:15 in the wee hours with a bowl of Cheerios and old moccasins on Word 2007. Cursing. Wild gesticulating. Occasional breaks for solo NSYNC dance parties. I have no friends.
But this is how I operate. This is my own personal water cycle of creation, and I have been forced to simply accept that the fantasy of exquisite literary conception translates in form not to a café with pen and ink. Not to brisk balcony vistas with an Underwood. Just me in my underpants at an old desktop. So I never turn on the light. Now you know.
Surely, this is not how Pride & Prejudice was born. I am certain, at least, that Jane Austen had the decency to wear her skirts.
Nodding once more to the 200th anniversary of the famous novel, the Jane Austen Society will delve into a behind-the-scenes journey with special guest speaker Dr. Glynis Ridley as she explores the writing process beyond the dust jacket. Join her this Sunday, February 17th, at Locust Grove for the presentation, “Writing Pride & Prejudice – How Jane Austen Did It.”
A professor of English at the University of Louisville, Glynis Ridley specializes in the study eighteenth century Europe and literature. The author of two books, The Discovery of Jeanne Baret and Clara’s Grand Tour, Ridley was awarded the Institute of Historical Research Prize and was shortlisted for both the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award and the Duff Cooper Prize in 2004. I also happen to think her first name is very pretty. Ridley and the Jane Austen Society will convene for the story behind the story starting at 2pm. Afternoon tea will, as always, follow the presentation.
When considering my incredible pallor in my window pane late, late in the night at my Writing Desk, it is possible – I think to myself with entirely too much ego – that this is my finest hour. Here, at last, is my moment of grandeur unfolding like a baby gazelle. And the Dr. Ridleys of world will be forced to say: when she wrote her Great American Novel and made something brilliant, she was wearing sunglasses in the dark and lip-syncing Michael Jackson in polka-dot underwear. Because that’s really just how I work.
Locust Grove is located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane.
Image: Courtesy of Amazon www.amazon.com