Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Writer's facade

A few years ago, the wife and I thought about buying and running a liquor store. Unlike now, we had a little extra money on hand and thought it would be a good investment. In preparation for my meeting with the bank in which I'd present my business proposal, I studied booze, mostly wine. I bought wine magazines, went to tastings, learned all the lingo, and almost immediately I became one of those pompous flaming assholes who likes to give opinions on wine as though mistaking a Merlot for a Cabernet was a mortal sin. I knew only enough to b.s. my way through a conversation. Really, I couldn't stand myself, but neither could I stop myself. I was addicted.

We got approval for the loan, but the landlord sprung a surprise and wanted to charge us more than the other tenants of the strip mall, so we were too pissed to go through with it because it screwed up our budget and made the whole thing even more iffy than before.

In college, I felt like a little too much of a bumpkin, so I started listening to classical music to seem more sophisticated for the women. Again, I learned enough to b.s. my way through a conversation. That actually worked out well. It turns out there's a lot of classical music I like, so my pompousness was beneficial in that instance.

When writing, a writer has to pretend to know about a bunch of things. I think those of us who have pretended to know about a variety of subjects have an edge over those earnest types who have always been truthful, because we've learned how to lie.

Moral of the story? If you ever intend on being an author, I encourage you to start lying at an early age. Yes, your parents will punish you and think less of you, but think of that as training for the rejection you'll get from agents. And some of you classmates will beat you up, but think of that as training for the scathing reviews you'll eventually get. It's a win-win situation all around.


  1. Other way around for me. At work, I lie all the time. Sure, those flowers are lovely, yep, that will match that dress, of course ceramic figures are an important keepsake. Frickin hummels, precious moments, now why couldn’t I work in a liquor store playing Vivaldi’s four seasons?
    It's in the writing world, where things don’t seem a lie. Why can’t a photon could splinter and strike people dead? Of course if you see a bird go up in ashes, eat the ashes, you'd swallow a phoenix—things like seem much more realistic and honest that buying crap you don’t need.
    You always have such fun posts!

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  3. Arlene comes through with excellent taste! The Four Seasons is amazing. I saw Iczak Pearlman (sp?) perfrom it at Wolftrap in Virginia. It had my favorite violin solo (the lonely one at the end of spring/beginning of summer) before Josua Bell came along with this one:

    (You have to cut and paste it, because I don't know how to get links in the comments:

  4. Sooo, confusing Merlot for Cabernet isn't a mortal sin? Hmm. They're both good. That pic is making me thirsty. :)

  5. Husband knows all about wine. I just drink it. I couldn't pretend knowledge of that. In fact, I can't pretend knowledge of anything. I get caught out too fast. I've always been the type to know a little about a lot. Trouble is now I forget even the little.