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Because you can’t drink all the time.
Of course you can.
I write because I suck at everything else.
Have you seen what comes off the stove when I try to cook? Have you ever eaten something I pull out of the oven? You don’t want to. Those “nailed it” memes are the story of my life. I have all these lovely Food & Wine cookbooks, with perfectly browned chicken and bright veggies and sauce that’s never lumpy. I serve hacked-up hunks of meat with limp veggies and gravy that’s always got cornstarch chunks in it. Don’t even get me started on cookies with burned edges and raw middles. As Carly Simon said, I haven’t got time for the pain.
But when I write, something happens.
The words rise the way my baked goods never do. I can shape them into peaks, like whipped meringue. I can fold things into them. I can tease them into shapes, into tastes, into sights you never thought possible. I can make words do things they don’t want to. I can make them show you things that aren’t really there. I can say one thing is like something else, even if it’s not, and have you understand what I’m saying. I can scream without opening my mouth. I can show you what I dream, what I fear, and what I want without having to risk your scorn. I hide behind people who don’t even exist. Except that they do, in parts of me.
Natalie, the schizophrenic heroine of The Romanov Legacy, is me. I just turned the voice I hear in my head into the hallucination of a paranoid delusional schizophrenic. When my voice talks to me, I can turn it off. When hers talks to her, she can’t. That’s the only difference.
When I write, I feel powerful. I never, ever feel that way in real life. I am timid. Shy. Afraid. I’d break the scale of introversion if someone ever invented it and I ever stepped on it.
I’d break the scale of introversion if someone ever invented it and I ever stepped on it.
I don’t do drive-throughs because I’m too terrified to speak into the box. I won’t call for a quote to save money on my car insurance because I’m too terrified of the questions the person on the other end will ask. I will sit quietly in a room without speaking for hours, days, on end. Until the end of time. I’m not sure how much of this is due to my Swedish ancestry or natural inclination.
There is one notable exception. I talk to animals (live and stuffed) without hesitation.
I’m still waiting for them return the favor.
Mr. Tudball, this means you.
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