Monday, October 10, 2016

On doing whatever works...................




     Ted sat in a high-backed swivel chair, often flinging his long legs on top of the desk as he stared into space.  Every few minutes he would stride up and down the studio, leaning forward at full tilt as if "into a gale," his hands thrust in his rear trousers pockets.  He lit one cigarette after another, pausing before the corkboard walls to scowl at his latest sketch, his glasses pushed up on his forehead, wondering if a new creature was about to emerge, who it might be and what it might say.  He liked to approach a book "with a situation of a conflict and then write myself into an impossible situation so there was no [apparent] way of ending [the book] ... People who thing about endings first come up inferior products."  When hit with a mental block, the threw himself on a mustard-colored sofa near the hearth to read mysteries.  His "best stuff," he said, was written "on toward midnight" when he was looser, freer and "a bit tired."  He preferred that late hours because the telephone was quiet and the stillness of the mountain-top enveloped him.  "He has the endurance of forty buffaloes," Helen said, "and thinks he can work day and night."

-Judith & Neil Morgan,  Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel:  A Biography

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