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Clifford and Mordor

October 17, 2011

I know I have written about this before, but in case any of you picture me writing in a sealed study complete with bookshelves, pots of flowers, and silence, let me remind you of what it is really like. I wrote Mistress Bradstreet while my son watched Clifford (the Big Red Dog), who, by the way, has many friends: Clio, Tbone, and Mac. They bark a lot.

Then, a few years later, while I wrote The Woman Who Named God, we branched into the Sims. Generations of Sims. One of my son’s Sims characters was — surprise, surprise — a writer and my son made him write one best seller after another. He liked how fast the Sims person wrote. And how much money he got. More and more for each book. I felt inadequate.

Now, The Marys. My deadline is in six weeks, but who’s counting, and he is sick, lying on the couch, approximately eight feet from the table where I write (but who’s counting). I have stuck headphones on, but he has reverted to his sick movies: Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. I can hear them, blurred and diminished, but still there. The trees are talking. Hobbits are persevering. Annakin is misbehaving and wands are floating around. I think that somehow all this informs The Marys, although I am not sure how. Maybe it’s those John Williams soundtracks. All those trumpets are kind of inspiring. Sometimes, I feel ennobled, like it’s me and Skywalker, the two of us fighting The Empire. Harry and Frodo can come along, too. But, honestly, I kind of miss the barking dogs. Maybe Clifford should take on Mordor.

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