I have been re-reading Hortense Calisher‘s first novel, False Entry. Some Big Critic whose name eludes me noted that while some authors are “writer’s writers” Calisher is a writer’s writer’s writer. I think the critic was trying to say, “she’s not easy to read.” Humph. I’m finding beautiful sentences everywhere — after two hundred pages the book is a-flutter with stickies. My current favorite: “It was the shabby-sweet odor of the South that already I was smelling, the air of a people who had to put too much sugar on their lives.”
I am juiced up with good writing, good ideas, and good ideas about writing — I have the happy tickle in my belly of having found a *perfect* gift for a dear friend.
Open the cedar chest, or the under-bed storage box from Target, shake the mustiness from your favorite afghan, warm some apple cider, snuggle up and nibble on these ideas. These come via my writer friend Gigi Vernon (whose short story “Show Stopper” has been chosen for inclusion in the Mystery Writers of America anthology!):