Dylan Thomas is said to have once interrupted himself, in his cups and pontificating, by saying, "Someone’s boring me. I think it’s me."
I just returned from a wet weekend in Sacramento, Calif., where my sister-in-law lives. Her friends and family gathered less to celebrate and more to marvel that she somehow found time and reason to work so hard to add to a life that’s already so rich.
Anyway: During the weekend, which involved meeting a wonderful variety of California women—feminist activists, WPFL football players, scholars and wits—and I heard myself lecturing, Thomas-like, about writing.
"There are two ways to interest people with writing," I was telling the nose guard on the Sacramento Sirens (she wants me to do a Plimpton "Paper Lion" thing with the team). "You either take a subject they think is foreign and make it sound familiar to them. Or you take a subject they think they know backwards and forwards and write about it in such fresh detail that it comes to seem to them as strange."
"And of course the best stories …" here I paused for a sip of gin and leaned back regally, "achieve both."