I rarely draw directly from life. First of all, it's cruel to the other people involved, who don't get to have their say about events that may reflect poorly on them.
Secondly, it bores me. For me, half the fun in writing is constructing a story, fitting it together so the characters make sense and express an idea I'm burning to relate. It's like building a model ship. Something that comes already constructed, like a real-life story, isn't very interesting at all.
But my friends are always telling me to write more stories based on the amusing ancedotes I tell them. I guess that's a compliment, although the truth is that they already know the main character. But my literary self-confidence is so low after the past year's events that I'm basically willing to listen to anything.
Thus this month's new story, The Broken Hearts of Viola Chang. (Levi and I went to Carnegie Hall after the dinner, and there was an arresting-looking Chinese girl in the back row of the string section.)
It's a funny story....it just wasn't much fun to write. And I feel bad for Yitzhak, even though of course that's not his real name.
I can never decide whether or not to completely abandon the Washingtons, so I keep monkeying about with it without writing any more. I need to make a decision on this soon.