where the writers are
Good, Gooder, Goodest

Let me tell you a story about a writer at work. He or she rises early or late, changes into clothing or stays in pajamas, and sits down at a computer/legal pad/coffee shop to pen the masterpiece of the century. While he sips coffee, she outlines her next attack. While she's planning and plotting, he jumps in to provide backstory for the newest character.

Coffee or tea, scratching from time to time, rubbing of the forehead in frustration.

Grandiose, no?

Hygienic? Hardly.

Every day I work on my own writing, and some days, on other people's as well. I have no preconceived ideas about how the day will go. Sometimes, I'm freaking Dorothy Parker, wittily cutting down every threat to intelligent thought, and others I'm leaning over the keyboard crying, because a character I've created (and grown fond of) has died, through my actions, the strokes of the keys.

On any given day of the week, it's challenging, not to find words, or create worlds in my imagination. It's challenging because I live in my mind and the real world, with a foot in each. Sometimes, the world I'm writing about is more beautiful, more comfortable than my "real" life. Sometimes, I can't wait to shut off the computer at the end of the day, so terrible are the people I'm getting to know.

And then there are the days in between, when it's humming along fine, emotionally speaking. The challenge there? To find words everyone else isn't using, or to string them together into breathtaking, beaded finery.

I've spent 18 years as an editor; I've done my time. So who says you can't push against the boundaries of language a little, or make up a brand new word?

I propose gooder, or goodest, or goodier, for today at least. Tomorrow will probably be a different story.