There are a couple of questions people like to ask writers. The most popular -- "Where do you get your ideas?" -- is a mitzvah, because it offers those of us with that peculiar bent of thought called "creativity" a rare opportunity to exercise the beast in a socially-sanctioned manner. Over the years, I've explained with equal sincerity that my ideas came from a facility in Chicago, a box in the attic, my confessor, Bulfinch's Mythology, David Byrne, and the weird weed I smoked that night in the seventies when, well -- it's personal, but we were all crazy back then, man. You remember.
Each one of those explanations has been received with at least as much sincerity as it was offered, as if my interrogator realized the moment it left her mouth how truly and deeply unanswerable such a question is.
A different kettle of fish entirely is the second-most popular question. "Why did you become a writer?" implies a certain involvement of process, a certain -- how shall I say this? -- choice in the matter.
I've made a lot of choices in my life. At a tender age, I chose to leave hearth and kin to live the life of an outlaw secretary in deepest Baltimore. I chose to break my mother's heart, listen to rock 'n roll music, attend openings at obscure art museums in suspect neighborhoods, hang out with reprobates and known musicians, attend science fiction conventions, live theater performances, presidential elections and multi-alarm fires.
Eventually tiring of the outlaw life, I chose to open a second-hand genre shop using only my retirement account and life savings to fund the venture.
To this day, I choose to keep cats.
But I never chose to be a writer.
Want to talk about it? Come 'round the salon on Sff.net, where the writers hang out.
If you'd like to learn even less about Sharon Lee, you can check out her fanzine, Bloo KangaRue, drop by Liad, or visit the day job. If you visit the day job, bring coffee -- cream, no sugar. Thanks.