I’ve got this really cool cabin in the woods of Lake Arrowhead – a real writer’s retreat with no email, no television, just pine trees, books and silence. How perfect is that? However if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you know about the family summer weekend up there when all I could think about were how many hamburgers and veggies burgers could be consumed, how many sets of monopoly were needed and would six large cars fit in my driveway. Then came the great winter freeze and the pipes bursting causing the kitchen to flood and a ceiling to cave in. In tandem with that event was my husband having a heart attack later that night and requiring a quadruple bypass in San Bernardino.
The first thing I noticed was the four foot wall of frozen snow blocking my driveway. (I’d been warned of this and invited to park in a neighbor’s driveway.) The second thing was a large rock in my living room. Then I noticed all the glass. Someone had thrown a rock through my front window.
This is one of those random acts of malice that makes no earthly sense. I called my long suffering contractor to fix it, filed a report with the police, let my next door neighbor in on it, and then drove home to Santa Monica. Why am I telling you this? Well, for one thing, if you’re a writer that's just what you do – write out all the weird, bizarre stuff in your life, hoping to make some sense out of it. And also because we have these images in our heads of other people – how perfect things must be in their life – I think it’s important to write the truth of such perfections (a writer’s cabin in the mountains!) and to let each other in on our lives. Isn’t this why we’re writers?
Besides, it's all material. Floods, fires and rocks.