Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Candyfreak II

Yesterday Steve Almond autographed his book Candyfreak:

“Margie, Chocolate + Love = God. Steve.

Steve thinks about eating candy about once every hour and eats at least one piece every day. He stashes candy in the freezer, under his bed, and claims to have 14 cases of Kit Kat Limited Edition Dark stored in an undisclosed warehouse. He finally succumbed to writing a book about candy when he couldn’t find his favorite candies from childhood. Do you remember Caravelles, Choco-Lites, Atomic Fireballs, Sugar Daddies, and Star Bars? Almond does. He set out to explore why so many favorites have disappeared and to visit the last surviving little-guy candy producers around the country.

While researching this happy subject, it seems that he was, yes, depressed. It was noticeable in the book. In fact when I heard him lecture yesterday (he’s in town for Rochester Reads, and if you don’t get the irony of this, Rochester being the home of the Mayo Clinic where consuming fat, candy, and smokes are arrestable offenses…) anyway, he was down at the library with a basket of Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls and Nut Goodies. (a small St. Paul, MN, candy company) by his side – payment I assume. So during Q&A someone asked, “It seemed like you were, well, kind of a sadsack when you were writing this book. It that true?” He replied that as he criss-crossed the country visiting little-guy candy producers who’re too frequently being bought out or closed, interviewing confectioners, watching the mixing, dipping, packaging process and departing with cases of chocolaty, carameled, nutted bars for his personal stash – the paradox was being deliriously happy during the day, while at night in his hotel room, as he reviewed notes and wrote, all he could think is “what an idiot on an idiotic search writing a stupid book no one will ever read. WHAT am I doing?”

I know. This could have something to do with blood sugar. Except that this is just how writing works for most writers. In the midst of writing you are alarmed, sick, and certain what you write is such drivel you’ll need to kill yourself tomorrow. I’ve promised once again, to Denis' skepticism, to quit the histrionics and be satisfied with having written at all.


jenni said...

Yes, I feel much better today now that my deadline has been met. Funny how that works. :)

Alina said...

Thanks for this post. It is well timed to combat my thoughts the last few days. Some days I am excited after I write, but I am amazed at how many days I just want to quit writing and shut down my blog. Lately I've told myself to write for the audience "of one" and feel satisfied "with having written at all," as you said. It is hard to keep my eyes on the road and move ahead with writing what I desire to write about, whether people are interested or not.

Beckye said...

Margie, you're a great writer that many of us love to read! :D

Beckye said...

I thought you'd want to see his article! :D

nancy said...

My friend Tara told me about you and your amazing way of putting her thoughts on paper (cyber paper?). I told her, no, they're not her thoughts, they're MINE.
That's a gift and you got it.

Margie Haack said...

Alina, yes, I like that writing for One. Beckye, thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
Nancy, perhaps it's twin thinking?