Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I wiped the long leaves of the two orchid plants I have at home. For the first time, they chose to take a year off and not bloom. Of course, I thought I must have done something wrong. Not enough time outdoors, too much sun, too little food. Or something.

If you’re semi-good at doing things (and I have been thus far semi-good at raising orchids), you don’t – or I don’t – especially treat yourself sternly when the inevitable failure strikes. So they’ll bloom next year. Or they wont and I’ll have to find substitute color for the winter.

Color is not hard to find, even on a March day that was, if you ask me, a little too cool today.


I read an interview with Lorrie Moore in the On Wisconsin magazine. Because she is an established local author, I follow her career more closely than I would, say, that of another random famous 50-plus year old female author, who may write a disturbing book about a young woman who was a nanny at the age of twenty. I can make a list of at least ten things there alone that make this an especially interesting novel (and therefore novel writer) for me.

It was a good, well-crafted interview. I liked her answers.

I’ve met Ms. Moore once, at Border’s and it was one of those meetings I would like to forget, because in my brief exchange with her I got the exact impression of her that I wanted so badly to avoid – of a famous person who was slightly detached from this particular audience. (This was some ten years ago.) I know that she was probably tired of book readings, and I do not know if she is, in general, confident or tentative, but still, I left feeling depleted by the encounter.

Could it be that an author has to practice detachment to write effectively about the place and people she encounters daily?

If I ever write my small book, it wont be written nearly as well as my orchids were well tended. (And they were obviously not that well tended. After all, they did not bloom.) If asked, I’ll likely say the wrong things about the writing experience, offending everyone under the sun, and most of all those back home in Warsaw (it will be set against the backdrop of Warsaw).

I can only hope that, like in the case of the nonflowering orchids, I will move on to the next project without too stern a look back at my less than successful effort.

Let me repeat: there’s always color out there. Even in March.