10 September 2010

Seat of the chair

"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." —Dorothy Parker

The editor at one of my freelance gigs loves this quote, and has a not-so-subtle way of sending it to me when I'm not meeting a deadline. I envy Parker's trove of quippy quotes ("I hate writing, I love having written" and "Writing well is the best revenge"), but like so many oft-repeated lines, they make me nervous. Partly because they're true, but ultimately because no one wants to become a cliche. At least I don't (and to the few of you are chuckling and saying, Oh but Scott, you already are: I know who you are, and I think you're mean, and I'm proud to know you).

I'm sitting on this chair, which was just completed yesterday, my father having sent me the beautiful slipcovers made to my specifications (my specifications: please, please, please make me some slipcovers). As I sit here, I look around at where I live, and realize not just how much I love it, but how I've set it up simply to have different places to perch, to read and write and think shallow thoughts. I've got the corner with this newly redone chair and a great reading lamp. In the bedroom there's a little walnut desk perfect for sitting at the computer. The round dining room table is perfect for spreading out a project, and it looks out on the porch, my ultimate favorite place to sit. And by next week my daybed will be complete, where I plan to spend hours curled up reading, ignoring deadlines and responsibilities. Of course, with all these perfect spots, you'd think I'd get more done, wouldn't you? But the piano is over there in that corner, demanding to be practiced (and my trio partners demand the same thing). The kitchen is in the opposite corner, and its demands of late have been unrelenting (Confidential to Mother Nature: Enough with the produce already. No one cares.). Then, out beyond the porch, the trails to the lake want to be run, often it seems. There are the shut-ins at the former group home to think about (that's not a mercy visit, by they way. They have a TV). And the boyfriend is around, and his little dog, too. And then there's the job; oh bother.

On the other hand, I just sat, pants in chair as required, and wrote this. Not the great American novel, but that's been done: time to roll up the shades, let the sun in, and open To Kill a Mockingbird.


  1. This post makes me very happy.

  2. I am so happy for you.You just made me realize that I should do the same.


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

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