It’s quiet and rainy here in Portland, and I’m taking a few minutes to think about writing before I start in on my freelance work for the day. I’m extremely grateful to have this work even though I am wistful for the days where I worked furiously on the new novel, because I loved that book so much, but also because I believed it had the potential to be sold, that I could live for a few months off its proceeds if I could just finish it already. But it is often hard to concentrate on the writing of things when you fear poverty, and when a project shows up you cannot say no to it, you cannot even consider it, in fact, you must give into it, if that makes any sense, give into the making of money, and that is what I did. And now I shall live to eat another day, and also to have health care, which, at the very least, will please my mother.
So here I am in Maine missing my book as one would miss a close relative, while downstairs Kate sits in the living room working on her memoir, her dog napping nearby in a chair, and Brendan sits in the dining room working on his screenplay. Both rooms have big windows and high ceilings and are lit by the outside, even on gloomy days like this one. They are perfect writing rooms, in my opinion. Kate and Brendan both work all morning, then take a break at eleven in the morning, for an hour-long walk, from which they return with rosy cheeks and enough energy and enthusiasm to fuel the rest of their day.
Kate is in this place with her book where she will stop mid-conversation to make a note, usually on a sheet of blank white note paper. Some of these notes have coffee stains on them. (I am tempted to take pictures of these pieces of paper but they are not my notes to capture.) The whole world around her exists in relief to her writing. There is just her, and her book, and then there is her dog, and then cooking for the three of us, and a glass of wine or two in the evening, and then rest, enough rest to start it all over the next day.
I am extremely jealous of her at this moment, and have told her that a few times. I mean it as a compliment. Right now she is where we all want to be when we are working on a book. When you are in the thick of it, when you are completely absorbed in your book to the point where it feels liquid and warm around you, it is of great comfort. Which is not to say I feel uncomfortable here. I am sleeping so soundly; Maine is a narcotic. I am eating like a queen. I read early in the mornings and in the evenings too – I will probably read several books a week here. I take walks, too, down to the promenade. The city is beautiful, and spring is springing wherever you look.
I only meant that I want that feeling that Kate has, too. I am greedy, I suppose. Greedy to be complete.