I Finally Had the Time To Come Across this Great Passage from The Flame Throwers
For the first time in over a year, I woke up this morning with nothing particularly urgent to get done. Last week I turned in the final revisions of Process to my publisher, who has since sent it into production. Also last week S. Jam Fitzgerald and I moved out of the Gramercy apartment we’ve been sharing for almost three years. Now all I have to do is lounge around in Rockaway working for Strolby and pretending to search for a new apartment while S. Jam is in Lebanon/Italy/Myanmar for an extended work trip.
Yesterday in Rockaway: Cartwheel Symphony, as performed by four grown ladies who can (just barely) still perform the trick.
The Three-Day Kingdom or, One Afternoon in Tuscany
From where I’m sitting, at a table under a canopy that’s shielding the sun but allowing the breeze, a mostly empty bottle of wine, along with glasses, frames a plate of bread and cheese, also mostly gone by now. A stone path leads to a large stone patio. Beyond that, the place we’re staying, Montorio, perches on the top of this little hill just outside the much higher hill of Montepulciano. To my left, there’s a grassy space and then a gravel lawn with a table for four, too hot now without any afternoon shade, but beyond words in a few hours, with the sun behind the cypress trees that line the hill. Past that still, Montepulciano sits there above us, houses dripping down its sides, miraculously unchanged in 800 years, but for details that don’t seem to count, like a new stucco facade here, or an electric lamppost there.
Getting right to it, here is the timeline for the creation of my book Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors:
March 2012: signed with my agent
Summer and Fall 2012: Prepared the book proposal, wrote sample chapters
April 2013: Secured a book deal
June 2014: Completed draft of book
The human race is notorious for not emailing back.
I think sometimes that the best reason for writing novels is to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word. The last time it happened to me, I uncorked a good Sancerre I’d been keeping and drank it standing up with the bottle in my hand, and then I lay down in my backyard on the paving stones and stayed there a long time, crying. It was sunny, late autumn, and there were apples everywhere, overripe and stinky.
-Zadie Smith. (via behindthepage)
I now 100 percent understand this quote from Zadie Smith, tears and all.