Here's an interesting article from Washington Post Book World about a couple who survived writing separate books due to the same publisher, same editor at about the same time. Yikes. My opinion: one writer per family is more than enough!
“I had to force myself to block out the sound of his relentlessly efficient typing as I struggled (far longer than he did, it seemed) to find my next insight. He didn't have to cultivate discipline; it came naturally. Writing is all he does, while I divide my time between writing and seeing patients, so I constantly had to change gears, while he always seemed to be in the groove. His task was easier, too; everybody he writes about has been dead for 200 years, and none of them is related to him.”
“Despite her professional empathy as a psychoanalyst, my wife makes one calumnious statement, arising from her living room perspective. It is not easier to write about long-dead strangers, only differently difficult. We approach them from a greater emotional distance than we do our deceased parents, but knowing them requires more research. She did not have to decipher wavy letters by her subjects on Library of Congress Web sites or try to understand their lives by hunting down books on colonial tobacco culture and 18th-century battlefield drill.”
And Mary Karr’s “Poet’s Choice” column printed some baseball haiku. Here’s my favorite:
empty baseball field
a dandelion seed floats through
the strike zone