Fat girls get published and die.
One morning, much like this one, you awaken and find yourself twice the size you once were.
And now you a fat woman. Lord, have mercy.
You have no one to blame but yourself for the altercation of your physique. All along the journey you had opportunities to stop the madness.
A friend invited you to join his walking club. Your neighbor asked you to play tennis; your daughter wanted to you take up golf.
And of course, there was that older man you met at the Unitarian church. The one with the toilet-seat hair cut who kept inviting you to the Tapestry Club for something called "contra dancing."
You turned them down. Every one of them. You told them you needed to sacrifice for your art. And so month after month, instead of swinging kettle bells, you swing a fountain pen. Instead of sit ups and crunches, you sit in front of your computer and crunch adjectives into the Great American Novel.
There's a price to pay for this literary obsession. Once upon a time you had a face and body that inspired a man to build a wilderness outhouse in your honor.
Now you resemble one.
To make matters worse, you feel as fat as you are. Your back hurts. Your shoulders ache. Your legs fail after brief stroll to the top of the stairs.
Judy, of course, was morbidly obese.
You know the truth. Fat girls might get published, but they won't live long enough to spend the royalties. Judy's contract with Dell Publishers for the Pee Wee Scout series made her a millionaire and, as I write this, continues to support her children and grandchildren.
But Judy is dead; too early, from obesity. You won't see her on the beaches of Curacao this winter.
The lesson? A writer has to hike the path to fame. A writer needs to move.
Each day, before you sit to write, exercise.
Take the dog around the block. Jump in the car and head to the Y for a few laps.
Put on the motown and boogie.
Not all of us age as did Steinbeck. Most of us grow into a version of Orson Wells.
So, get out of your seat, put on your twenty-year-old Nikes and get moving. You know what I'm talking about; the ones with the grass stain from when you raked the leaves two years ago, before you began the third revision of chapter ten.
The muse will not be annoyed - in fact, the muse will follow.
My experience is this - the muse only comes to writers who are depressed, lonely, drunk or physically fit.
Last time I checked, it's too early in the day for gin.