where the writers are
Only For Fame


"I write only for Fame, without any view to Pecuniary Emolument. . ." Jane Austen.

Ahh, authorial dreams.

You know the ones I'm talking about.

The Oprah Dream.

The NYT Bestseller Dream.

The Red Star in Publisher's Weekly Dream.

The Maybe I Can Get Ron Howard to Direct the Movie Adaptation of My Book Dream. (Though my personal version features Nora Ephron.)

We all indulge in them, and honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with having a few fantasies now and then. They're fun, and they sustain us, so long as they don't get in the way of the work.

God knows I'm not here to cast stones, (not with so many weighing my own pockets down) but I would like to offer something--a  little perspective, maybe.

Recently a columnist in my local paper shared a story told to her by an elderly neighbor. There was a knock on his door one snowy night and he opened it to a woman and her young daughter, each carrying a shovel. They told him that they were shoveling walks so that they could buy dinner. On the ground next to them was a plastic grocery bag filled with cans and boxes, clearly donations from other houses. Having lived through the first Depression, he remembered people coming to his childhood home begging for food, and wondered how there could be any doubt that were clearly in the midst of another.

Since I read that piece, there has not been day since that I have not thought of that woman and her daughter  shoveling walks for food. I wonder about the courage it took to bundle up her child and go out into the cold--and what it must have cost her to knock on that first door.

And as I come home from a job I still have to a warm house and a full refrigerator, those glossy dreams have lost a bit of their shine. And suddenly seem a whole lot less sweet.