I live in a regular neighborhood. It’s full of regular people doing regular things. As a writer, I have often wondered what it would be like to have other writers living around me. Famous ones. I think block parties would be incredibly interesting, and borrowing cups of sugar could turn into epic conversations. What would carpools be like? Trick or treating?
If Nora Ephron lived next door, I would probably spend a lot of time hanging around at her house. I’ll never forget the article she wrote about being mystified as to how those of us in suburbia get anything accomplished, due to all the walking and driving required out here in the heartland. So having Nora next door and taking her to the mall would be hilarious. She would DIE at the size of the parking lot! We’d get makeovers and talk about our neck wrinkles. We would compare notes about menopause. I am sure she would love being my pal.
I would think that a romance novelist would make a great neighbor. My choices would be writers who write with a bit of edge and insight. Not that Danielle Steele would be unwelcome, but I would prefer Elizabeth Buchan. She can write about the spurned wife like no other. I bet her house would be very comfortable and that her bookshelves would cause me pangs of envy. And if we also had Joanna Trollope in the area, would the three of us get together and talk about our angst ridden children or the just how difficult our relatives are?
For some excitement, I would love having Elizabeth George in the vicinity. What kinds of mysteries might she concoct using the locals as inspiration? Would she craft a character around me? Would an accordion player get murdered and his wife be the main suspect? How fun! And if Sue Grafton was around, would she include ME in one of her alphabet mysteries?
I would be thrilled if Meghan Daum lived nearby. That would mean that our neighborhood is of a very high standard, indeed. Our property values would go up due directly to her decision to buy a house here. She and I would compare DIY projects and I would be very honest in advising her about paint colors.
If Craig Wilson were a neighbor, everyone would want to go over to his house during the holidays. His columns in USA Today evoke such charm. I am sure that his Christmas decorations would be inspired, and that we’d gather around the piano and sing Carols. There would be delicious food, punch, and mistletoe. He would regale us with stories of his fascinating life and travels.
I have a great neighborhood. There are doctors, lawyers, delightful children, lovable dogs, and women that I admire. We are a congenial group. But I can’t help thinking about what having Steig Larsson around the block might have been like. Dark. Would he have brooded at the block parties? Would he have given out “Swedish Fish” on Halloween?
But then again, if he lived around here, his book might have been called “The Girl with the Ladybug Tattoo.”