Okay, I know i haven't written anything here in a long, long time. A couple of people have asked me to be their friends, and that prompted me to try to get back into the groove. Thus this entry:

PERSONAL RESEARCH

I do nothing thrilling or dangerous or even exceptional for my
art. I have never so much as shoplifted, let alone robbed a jewelry
store, but I've written about it. I've never held anyone for ransom,
but I've written about it. Never mugged anyone, attacked anyone with
a blunt instrument or anything else, never shot a gun, and especially
never murdered anyone. I've written about Private Eyes, police
detectives, amateur sleuths, nursing home directors, dragons and
trolls, in the male viewpoint, but never been any of those. Or even
known all of them in real life.

My favorite hobby is reading fiction. Sitting in a comfortable
chair, drink nearby if thirsty, I travel the world and learn all
about many occupations, many of which I have no interest in
pursuing. Everything I read about feels as if I've experienced
it. And that's all I need. I refuse to go sky diving, white water
rafting, or hiking in the wood with the bears. I'm not going to
visit either the Arctic or the Antarctic. And lots of other places
in between. I'm also not planning on getting divorced or contacting
a lot of diseases I've read about.

Does this disqualify me to write about any of these things? If so,
only murders would write murder mysteries. Only travelers would
write about strange lands. And only someone who's fallen off a cliff
is qualified to write about it.

The imagination is a powerful, powerful thing. Write what you know
is valid. But we may forget--we know everything we've learned. And
we've learned an awful lot by reading, and writing, fiction. Our
imagination is what powers the writing motor. That's what makes it
so much fun. I raise my cup of hot chocolate (what else?) to all you
intrepid souls who go out and bungee jump for the sake of your
art. Describe it well enough, and I will feel that I also
experienced it. And can then write about it.

So, a huge thank you to all the other writers out there. Without you, I'd be a lesser person. Diminished. Because of you, I know a lot about a lot, but never enough.

Off to read a book.

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