"It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable."
When I get stuck I think of something my father said many years ago, which was that I should try to write a book like Life on the Mississippi. He never explained exactly what he meant by this, and it is far too late to ask him, but I knew he loved Mark Twain's book, with its quantity of short chapters, its tall tales, and its meandering journey down a river that was also a metaphor for life.
There may or may not be a book in me. But on good days, I like to think I am creating my own life on the Mississippi, little by little. I'm making my way downriver, skirting the sandbars, observing the bustling life on shore, and pausing to stick a toe in here and there, as my boat drifts ever further on the muddied currents.