My first live-in partner was a painter. I was his model. When we first got together, he used egg tempera, then oils. His vision for his development as an artist was to reach back in time, using previous artistic mediums and methods to discover their limitations for himself.
It is difficult to write about a place if I haven’t experienced it personally. The preacher in the market in Santiago, Guatemala; the ferry crossing the river to China Beach in Danang; the smell of a 20-horse two-stroke outboard in the Lake of the Woods; the size and shape of the pillows in a hotel in Phuket Thailand—these small details informed each of my stories.
Non-success is a common phenomenon in all human endeavours, but for a writer, the disappointment feels even more acute…But I have trained myself to swallow my disappointment in a quick gulp and move on to writing the next query letter.
I began a practice to deal with rejections a few years ago – I set out to receive 100 rejections each year…Briefly the intent is to reinforce that one has no control over whether or not work is accepted: what you do control is submitting.
For me, there is no pleasure in writing. I dread it. But I’m emotionally compelled to write. I have missed writing since I quit journalism. In Toronto, I blogged every week for more than a decade and stopped only when I was diagnosed with cancer.
I read the letters Miss Ladd’s mother wrote to her own father, with their myriad lively details: growing plants in the Aft Saloon, descriptions of souvenirs, eccentrics they met on their long voyages. Those letters and furnishings helped to call to mind tactile memories from my childhood.