There’s nothing like a Mary Gaitskill spotting to motivate one’s writing practice. Two friends and I were sipping Chardonnay at a favorite bistro in Greenwich Village and there she was—Ms. Gaitskill, author of Veronica and much more—sitting across from us, enjoying dinner with a companion. I couldn’t tell if it was really her, but my friends assured me it was– they’d been to her reading at the New School last spring. I wanted so badly to approach her, but I also didn’t want to interrupt her dinner and seem, well, crazy. “Do it, do it,” my friends said.
When I approached her for an autograph she seemed a little hesitant. “Do I know you?” she said. “When have we met?” I told her how inspiring she was and thanked her for doing what she does. It was then, I think, she realized I was just a crazy fan. She scribbled her name down on a piece of paper and that was that. My hands were shaking as I walked back to my table. I’m a total geek. Love her.
That’s my report for today… I love seeing writers out and about in New York City, it fulfills some expectation, some romantic vision I’ve had. There is something magical about it… the thought of Mary Gaitskill walking the slick, glittery streets, grabbing coffee maybe with a friend, chatting. Today I am inspired to writewritewrite, to get words down on the page. After seeing her in the bistro, I met my professor and he offered me a similar message: put that story aside and write a new one, write more, faster, every day, keep pushing forward.
I wonder—who is your Mary Gaitskill? What author would you love to see sitting next you in a restaurant nibbling on bread?
Today’s quote is more of a “story,” by Brian Andreas. Have you heard of him? He is this wonderful, original artist and story teller. He writes short little pieces that defy definition and labeling. Here’s one for middle of the week inspiration. Have a great day!
“Often, I write all day long with white ink on white paper, late into the night, until it is all I can do to feel the letters curving to earth from the tip of the pen & then, I fall asleep. Dreaming of running, or maybe driving in a car the color of water & I wake the next day remembering nothing & I gather the stack of paper & a pen of black on the desk in front of me & the words begin to dance over the page like long legged insects across a still lake & the words in white whisper behind & underneath the new day. If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that.” -Brian Andreas