Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Say "No"

Over the years, I don't think I've ever said "no" to a single writing request. The reasons for this are legion. First, I'm rather old school when it comes to accomodating a need. An editor calls or writes offering me space to create, and even if I don't have time or an idea to float, I just don't feel that I can let the editor down. Secondly, I'm sort of like a cheap hooker. Even if the pay is low (which it most always is) I can arrive at a reason why I should prostitute myself for a ten dollar check and five hundred words.

That's why, over the years, I've heard Becky many times ask me, "What are you writing about now?"

"Mattresses," I might say, or, "horseback riding" or "cancer" or "vacationing on Molokai", or tuxedo rentals" or "sleep deprivation in bodybuilding". (Yes, I've written on all these subjects and dozens more).

"But what do you know about mattresses?" she might ask.

"What do I--hey, I sleep on a mattress, don't I? I have fun on a mattress, don't I? I spent five years of my seven years of adolescence on a mattress! I'm Mr. Sealy-Posturpedic, baby!"

"Can't you say 'no' to anything?"


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