When I sit down to write I always check my email first (all three accounts) and then facebook and my iGoogle page. Who knows what inspiration lies in those places? Well, to be honest, I actually have a fair idea, and it's usually not much. Still, I persist in my habits, despite my limited time and the other demands on it.
This morning on the radio I heard that it was Norman Mailer's birthday; he would have been 88. I think the only thing I ever read by him was The Executioner's Song back when I was in college. I don't remember what drew me to the story of Gary Gilmore, but I do remember that it was his girlfriend, Nicole, who was the most compelling character in the book, that and the whole "Let's do it!" thing.
But I wasn't thinking of any of that this morning when I heard Garrison Keillor read this quotation of Mailer's:
I used to have a little studio in Brooklyn, a couple of blocks from my house — no telephone, not much else. The only thing I ever did there was work. It was perfect. I was like a draft horse with a conditioned reflex. I came in ready to sit at my desk. No television, no way to call out. Didn't want to be tempted.
No, hearing those particular words, I was simply struck by the wisdom of the writer. Happy Birthday, Mr. Mailer.