From the Outside, It

MUST LOOK AS THOUGH the writer just gets on a roll and uncorks a good one, knocking it out of the park. Not so. It’s more as though the Good Stuff is always there. It flows like a mighty Amazon of golden ale or mead, and you only need to dip a bucket into it to quaff your fill.

Trouble is in wielding that damned bucket. Most of the time, there’s a hole in it. Or you’re standing in it and your foot’s stuck. Or the handle’s broke. Or there’s somebody else standing between you and the river. Sometimes, he’s even pissing in the river.

But every once in awhile, you have the label rightside-out and you get some wood on the ball. But you’re in the shower. Or on your back under the car. Or stuck in traffic.

Sometimes, it’s amazing that anything decent ever gets written at all. Mostly, it’s just pure, dumb luck that readers get more than merely competent wordsmithing — putting more-or-less appropriate words, one after the other, until you get to the end.

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