11 August 2011

3 things you never know if you never ask



the first legit biographer to ever read jackie was a pulitzer prize winner with whom my only in-person interaction had been the observation that there should be more stalls in the women's restroom at the national press club.

she had expressed liberal views about what constitutes a biographical liberty and so i shipped the questionable eight pages of jackie off to her to see if, in her estimation, i had sinned.

the other day, she wrote back.

it's hard to summon momentum. to keep up your energy over the long haul. because this- writing, biography, life- is a mighty long haul. what you need is some galvanizing force that- even if it leads nowhere, even if it's fleeting at best- gets you going. it gets words on the page.

the pulitzer prize winner wrote back. her emailed opened with this line: "well, i must say i enjoyed that..."

as though she hadn't expected to. as though she were genuinely surprised.

i'm tempted to print out this email and frame it, as a reminder. because this is the response i'm writing for, this is the response jackie should get.

you think you know her story. you don't. i'm going to tell it, though i'm still not sure how.

3 comments:

The Whiffer said...

I know you are

oline said...

thank you!!

Katie said...

so excited for you and jackie!