The Sims, the Bible, and Clifford
I used to think I would never let my child 1) watch dumb things on tv 2) play video games and 3) eat bad things. Now that he is eleven, I still don’t let him watch dumb things on tv and I try to limit his junk food intake. But I do let him play video games so I can write. The middle section of The Woman Who Named God was composed while listening to the distant tinkle of the Sims. I hate to admit this in case anyone notices any link between my sentences and that mind numbing muzak in the background of all the SIms incarnations. But when my son played, I was free to write. Occasionally, I had to admire one of his characters, or the house his family had just bought, but mainly we worked side by side, both of us tapping away on our computers. At times I caught myself humming along to the medley of Sims melodies. When Hagar was trekking through the desert, looking desperately for water, there I was — dum de dum de dum de dum — until finally I had to tell him to turn the sound off the game. I could not imagine myself into Hagar’s desert ordeal while tinkling along with my son’s computer. I wonder how many writers have written their books against this kind of backdrop, or with this kind of background noise. I wrote Mistress Bradstreet to the tune of Clifford, the big red dog.