Maybe you wonder why I link to something called "Distances Between Cities."
Big smile from me at this point, imagining you wondering.
Well, it could be because I love to go to that site and find out how far it is between, say, Merriam and Chanute. Or Kansas City and Paris.
That's part of it. But the deeper reason is that it reminds me of two books I read years ago that rocked my staid little fictional world. The first was Italo Calvino's novel, INVISIBLE CITIES, and the second was Donald Barthelme's book of short stories, OVERNIGHT TO MANY DISTANT CITIES.
Do you not love those titles, especially the last one?
I love love love those titles, and I loved the books which were like no other books I'd ever read before--so loose, so fluid, so wildly creative, and unexpected, and liberating for author and reader, alike, especially the Calvino, if I recall correctly. Especially the Calvino, which is a tiny book that is a conversation between Marco Polo and Kubla Khan, with Marco telling stories about where he's been, only you can't be sure that any of it is true. . .
I think that's when I "got" it. . .hey, it's fiction, folks. It's fiction, Nancy. FICTION. You can do anything you want to do. You can tell many different truths in many different ways. You can even tell lies for fun and profit (the title of a book by Lawrence Block) if you want to, if you're lucky.
I haven't read either book again, because I want to remember the shock of the new that they gave me. It was electrifying, which means it gave me power, right?
What's the distance between invisible cities?
It's however far we can travel in our imaginations, I suspect.
I wonder, to what extraordinary distance can I go on this ordinary Saturday? Will I let my writing wander as far away from home as it wants to go?
And how far did you travel last night, and what tales did you bring back to tell us, some of them even true? :)
Good morning, by the way. There's coffee on the sideboard, and sweet rolls on the table, so help yourselves. And if you just feel like sitting in a corner and reading, well, that's fine, too.