Saturday, April 24, 2010
The Writer's Tools
On my desk, beside me, as I write this, I have a bottle of whiskey. It’s not my whiskey, it was brought over by a friend, when we were having an evening of drinking whiskey and listening to jazz records. In fact, I don’t even drink whiskey, so when we were drinking whiskey and listening to jazz records, I was instead drinking beer. A bottle of whiskey on one’s desk however, strikes me as a rather writer-like thing to have, and so I have left the whiskey there. A man with whiskey on his desk is obviously a tortured soul, full of heart breaking wisdom about the beauty and cruelty and emptiness of joy of our world.
I also have beside me my corn-cob pipe, and a packet of Mellow Virginia tobacco. I only ever smoke when exceedingly drunk, and would never have thought of having a pipe if I had not been given one, but a good pipe is another wonderful tool in the writer’s arsenal (or perhaps weapon in their tool box); not so much for the act of writing itself, but when talking, perhaps when doing a public reading, or interview of some type. One can puff thoughtfully on a pipe, when considering a particularly insightful question or comment, demonstrably applying the full force of your intellect to the issue, and then use the pipe to gesticulate or point firmly, adding weight and authority to whatever argument you might be making. It is difficult to win an argument with someone when they wield a pipe against you, a fact that has been forgotten or ignored by most of our modern politicians, to their great loss.