tone. He broke a smile. “Of course. Many times.” “And you have no doubt, personally, that the woman you saw at the gate across the street after the shots was Jennifer Witt.” To his credit, realizing what it meant, Alvarez took some time, staring at Jennifer. “I have nothing against the woman, but it was her.” “Your Honor!” “All right, Mr. Freeman. The jury will disregard that last answer. Mr. Alvarez, please just answer the question.” The court recorder, Adrienne, read back Powell’s question, and this time Alvarez
I didn’t write it to try to teach anything. My goal was just to figure out for myself what worked and why it worked. That’s what the writing’s about—not the magazine articles so much, but the books. Figuring stuff out.” “Taking other people there too.” “Maybe, hopefully, that happens in the process if I write it right. Which I suppose is why the books sell. And that just shows that there must be a lot of us in the same boat. Maybe most of us.” “So.” Gina hesitated, then figured what the hell. She wanted to know. “What about writer’s block? Do you ever get that?” “No. I don’t.” “Never?” Now Stuart broke one of his first true smiles. “I’m talking to a writer, aren’t I?” Gina lifted her shoulders, let them down. “Halfway through a bad legal thriller. Wondering how you get all the way to the end.” “Just keep going.” “Ha.” “Well, it’s what I do. I suppose I get times where the ideas don’t exactly flow, but the best definition of writer’s block I ever heard was that it was a failure of nerve. It’s not something outside of you, trying to stop you. It’s your own fear that you won’t say it right, or get it right, or won’t be smart or clever enough. But once you acknowledge it’s just fear, you decide you’re not going to let it beat you, and you keep pushing on. Kind of like climbing Whitney. Except that if it’s never any fun, then maybe it’s something inside trying to tell you that you probably don’t want to be a writer. You’re not having fun with your book?” “Not too much. Some. At the beginning. Then I got all hung up on whether anyone would want to read it and if they’d care about my characters and I started writing for them, those imaginary, in-the-future readers, whoever they might be.” “Well, yeah, but that’s not why you write. You write to see where you’re gonna go. At least I do. And in your case, nobody’s paying you for your stuff yet, are they?” “No. Hardly.” “Well, then just do it for yourself and have some fun with it. Or start another story that you like better. Or take up cooking instead. Or get up to the mountains more. But if you want to write, write. A page a day, and in a year you’ve got a book. And anybody who can’t write a page a day…well, there’s a clue that maybe you’re not a writer.” “A page a day…” “Cake,” Stuart said.