It's been a strange (and rough) couple of weeks, bad enough, in fact, that I've seen the Thin Man toss his meds into his mouth and chew them dry rather than taking the time to run a glass of water and swallow them properly. (He dropped one a few months back and I got excited thinking it was a cat treat because of the sound when it bounce. Let me assure you, they're as bitter as quinine and I slept for about two days straight.)
Anyway, I've been putting off cornering him for the weblog until things settled down a bit. I finally caught up with him this morning, standing on the side of the mountain, just kind of staring out across all the downed trees and broken trunks.
"Write what you know," he said when I sat down beside him to wash my paws. I had no idea what brought it up. He's like that—sometimes you join his mental conversation already in progress. You get used to it after a while. "Oldest advice in this business, cat. Write what you know."
"Sure," I agreed. "What's the problem with that?"
He snorted and smiled in that weird kind of way that has no trace of humor in it. "Do you know what I know? Frustration, anger, disappointment, despair—that's what I know."
"And fear," I added.
"Lawd but I know about fear, for a surety." He stood there a while and I didn't say anything. I figure human pity-parties are spectator sports, not something I need to participate in.
"Now, here's the weird part of it," he says at last. "You know the one thing I don't really know? The same thing people think I write about. Both books and my short stories too, I get mail telling me that my writing is full of hope. Figure that, boyo. Hope. The one thing I'm not sure if I'd know if it bit me in the fundament and somehow people are seeing it creep into my writing." He laughed and shook his head. "Don't worry you're fuzzy head; I'll get back to writing and your webish stuff soon enough. Right now, I've got to go cut brush. It looks bad now but I reckon, come spring, there'll be forest enough. Trees are tough."
I let him go and didn't press for more. There's no point talking to him when he's this fey. For my own purposes, I'm wondering what both people that read this mess though of the sciency stuff (was it clear enough, too boring, etc.) and what you'd like to see next. I'm thinking of asking the Thin Man to talk theology and maybe give a peak into the background work of a couple of projects he's got on the burner.