A friend asked me to give him something I'd written down. I said, Do I have to write something new, or can it be some words from a while back? My friend just shrugged and was very easy and patient about it. When I hunted through all my scraps of paper, though, nothing seemed right. And then I wrote down a new thing, which had in it ballet and Mary, the circus elephant who was tragically hung in Tennessee, and the baffling psychology of infidelity. It has been one year and nine months since anything, however brief, has unfolded this speedily and with so little despair.
You can read my new thing, "Choreography for Brief Flight," over here but do wander around. There are stunners in this issue of storySouth.
I was riffing a little earlier off of one of Steinbeck's Letters to Pascal "Pat" Covici, the one included in East of Eden (although The Journal of a Novel is the collection of those letters). Sometimes I think that the best way to write--and maybe, for me, the only way--is in response to someone's request for it. But there's a lot of hubris in that. Who can ever expect to be asked? But I was this time. Thank you, Terry.
One of Steinbeck's letters to his friend and editor, Pat.