A Nice Place To Write
Novelist Malcolm Livermore spoke for about 30 minutes on constructing experience and inspiration into words and how to write a great novel. For another 30 minutes he answered questions from students, writers, and his readers. It was an intellectual feast for all.
There was a brief intermission highlighted with wine, cheese, and dashes to the bathroom.
Malcolm bask in this sort of exchange. It was where he was at his best. He could stand toe to toe intellectually with anyone. He moved with grace and ease amongst the attendees. He was the one whom they adored and there to see.
Mitch Ward, a young writer was slated for a brief reading and for some question and answer. This was really his first time at such an event. He’d written two critically acclaimed novels, but met with little commercial success.
The main event was over and many would have left except that Livermore would read and stay to autograph his latest novel.
The master of ceremonies summoned everyone back into the small auditorium. After everyone was seated. “Our next guest, Mitch Ward.”
There was a polite applause. One could not miss the feeling that all wished Ward would quickly complete his reading, field a couple of questions, and turn things back over the real star; the reason why they were there.
As Mitch read some whispered, others looked about the room for amusement, and few listened.
Mitch finished a five minute reading; a short story named Nimble Ed. Not everyone applauded. And for Mitch’s part he really wasn’t expecting much especially after Livermore’s brilliant presentation.
“Any questions,” Mitch begged.
It was silent other than a couple of coughs.
“I’m not leaving,” Mitch graciously smiled. “Until I get one question. I know you’re here for Mr. Livermore, but I’m getting paid too, not as much as Livermore.”
“Your not the writer,” a voice said from the crowd.
“If you could pose that in the form of a question,” Ward said. “I answer it, sit down and enjoy Mr. Livermore.”
There was silence and then a young lady stood. “Mr. Ward can you tell us what your writing space looks like?”
“It’s a beige room with a window. The shades are always pulled. It has a desk, a chair, and computer.”
“That’s it?” she said. “How do you get inspiration from a drab room such as you described?”
“I shut my eyes and go to wherever my imagination takes me,” Mitch said. “Sometimes I stay there for hours and I return to write about where I’ve been, who I’ve met, and what happened.”
“Thank you, Mr. Ward,” she said. “You have a wonderful writing space.”
Mitch nodded politely. “Thank you. My wife Elsie,” he gestured to the young lady that posed the question. “My agreement was question and answer; she wanted to make sure I got paid.”