Like Narcissus watching his coffee get cold

July 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The lovely and talented Lauren Kirshner, author of the recently released debut novel Where We Have to Go, is this month’s writer-in-residence over at Open Book Toronto. She’s got an interesting post there about the challenges involved in writing about one’s home city (in her case, Toronto), and about why she likes to leave home to write:

For me, getting out of my apartment to write is necessary, even when I’m making excuses for why my desk is where it’s at. There’s a kind of negative stillness/stagnation that can set it when I sit in the same place for too long. It’s not like staring into a pond and seeing the reflection of the trees and the swatches of rainbow colour dancing. It’s more like Narcissus watching his own coffee getting cold. When that happens, I know it’s time to get out into the city.

(Anyone who doubts why I admire this woman’s writing so much need only consult the title of the current post.)

As a bonus, she’s recruited some local writers to comment on where their favourite spots to read and write are. So, if you’re feeling in the mood to stalk a Toronto-based writer, head on over to Open Book to discover which coffee snob gravitates to the Linux Café to eavesdrop on CBC journos, which author wrote part of his recent memoir on the Toronto subway, and which irredeemable pervert compares reading in public to public masturbation. (I see a whole new set of Google searches emerging …)

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