A Writer After My Own Heart

A Writer After My Own Heart

The latter half of 2011 has been my Breakfast at Tiffany’s period.  It started when I attempted to use the Audrey Hepburn film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as a way to lull my three-year old son to sleep one night.  It failed to put him to sleep, but it did spark what I hope will be a long, shared love of classic films between me and my son.  The next night, he specifically asked to watch “the movie with the lady eating a doughnut in front of the window… the one with ‘Cat.'”

On a trip to the Rancho Mirage Public Library shortly after our movie night, I was compelled to check out Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A short novel and three stories by Truman Capote (New York: Random House, Inc., 1958).  As much as I loved the film version for its romanticism, I loved the original form of the story for its humor, tragedy, and, most of all, its narrator and writer character, “Fred.”  What writer in the early stages of their professional career hasn’t felt the exhiliration Fred describes in this passage:

“On Monday, when I went down for the morning mail, the card on Holly’s box had been altered, a name added: Miss Golightly and Miss Wildwood were now traveling together.  This might have held my interest longer except for a letter in my own mailbox.  It was from a small university review to whom I’d sent a story.  They liked it; and, though I must understand they could not afford to pay, they intended to publish.  Publish: that meant print.  Dizzy with excitement is no mere phrase.  I had to tell someone: and, taking the stairs two at a time, I pounded on Holly’s door.” (p. 51-52)

It’s not about the pay.  It’s about the legitimizing of your craft, your passion, your skill.

What book or character do you most feel akin to?

P.S. Here’s another example of the language Capote uses that I admire:
“A beautiful day with the buoyancy of a bird.” (p. 53)
I’ve been searching for a sentiment to describe the inspiring Coachella Valley sunrises I witness on my drive to work.  I think I found it.

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