Skip to content
Who's in the Video

Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "Grace (Eventually)," "Plan B," "Traveling Mercies," and "Operating Instructions"; the popular writing guide "Bird by Bird"; and several[…]

A conversation with the novelist.

rnrn

Anne Lamott: AnnernLamott, I’m a novelist. 

rnrn

Question: When did yournfirst learn to write seriously? 

rnrn

Anne Lamott: Myrnfather was a writer, so I grew up writing and reading and I was reallyrnencouraged by him.  I had some sortrnof gift and when it came time to try to find a publisher I had a little bit ofrnan “in” because I had his agent I could turn to, to at least read my initialrnofferings when I was about 20.  Butrnthe only problem was that they were just awful, they were just terrible storiesrnand my agent, who ended up being my agent, was very, very sweet about it, butrnit took about four years until I actually had something worth trying to sell.

rnrn

Question: What is yourrnworking method like?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: Forrnthe last 35 years, since I was full-time, since about the age of 20—evenrnthough 15 of those years I was also doing other jobs to support my writing,rnlike cleaning house and teaching tennis, and what not—my father really taughtrnme that you really develop the habit of writing and you sit down at the same timernevery day, you don’t wait for inspiration.  You sit down, it helps your subconscious understand that it’srntime to start writing and to relax down into that well of dream material andrnmemory and imagination.  So, I sitrndown at the exact same time every day. rnAnd I let myself write really awful first drafts of things.  I take very short assignments; I willrncapture for myself in a few words what I’m going to be trying to do thatrnmorning, or in that hour.  Maybe I’mrngoing to write a description of the lake out in Inverness in West Marin, wherernI live.  And so I try to keeprnthings really small and manageable. rnI have a one-inch picture frame on my desk so I can remember that that’srnall I’m going to be able to see in the course of an hour or two, and then Irnjust let myself start and it goes really badly most mornings; as it does forrnmost writers. 

rnrn

And the difference between a writer who toughs it out andrnone who doesn’t is that you push through the parts where you know that you’vernjust written seven pages when all you’re looking for is one paragraph.

rnrn

Question: What new groundrndid you try to break for yourself as a writer in your new novel?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: “ImperfectrnBirds” is the third book in a trilogy about these characters, Rosie andrnElizabeth Ferguson.  Rosie is thernchild we first meet in the novel, “Rosie,” who is six or seven years old andrnwhose father has just died. rnElizabeth is her mother who’s very tall and depressed and has a littlernbit of money from the husband’s death and has no idea who she is in the worldrnexcept she is very fond of Rosie. 

rnrn

And in the second book of the trilogy, “Crooked LittlernHearts,” Rosie is, I think, it’s been a while, almost 14 and a champion tennisrnplayer and starting to get very into the world of boys and that she really isn’trnan attractive—she doesn’t feel like an attractive girl.  She is tiny and not developed.  Her best friend is just this cheesecakernof vanilla beauty, Simone, and ends up pregnant by the end of the book. 

rnrn

But in “Imperfect Birds,” I wanted to see where everybodyrnwas a few years later.  I wanted tornsee if Elizabeth had been able to stay sober, I wanted to see what Elizabeth’srnmarriage to the wonderful novelist, James, was like and I wanted to see Rosiernreally spreading her wings and going down some really dark paths.  There are bad drug habit—drug problemrnin the county where I live, in fact in all of California, and in fact inrnprobably in all of the United States among teenagers who discover things likernecstasy and then prescription drugs. rnAnd they’re just stealing and a lot of the kids are being prescribedrnAdderall for ADD and ADHD and of course they love it because it’s very nicernmellow speed, and it helps them with their college exams. And we’ve had a hugernproblem with OxyContin in our area and a number of deaths of my son’srnpeers.  And so I wanted to writernabout it.  I wanted to say, what’srngoing on here?

rnrn

Question: How can fictionrnexplore social issues in ways that nonfiction can’t?

rnrn

Anne Lamott:rnWell, it’s a very complex issue and it has many causes and roots and ways tornapproach it from, so you really couldn’t do it any kind of justice in 1,500rnwords or something.  There are arnnumber of characters who are a different manifestations of... the answer to whorngets into drugs, is it the kids you think of as players?  Well, Rosie is a 4.2 student headed torna very good college, who is beautiful, she’s a great tennis player, she’s justrna wonderful person, and yet she’s got the genetic predisposition becausernElizabeth and her father are both alcoholic.  There’s just no level at which you can achieve that you’rerngoing to feel good enough about yourself to not wonder if you feel a little bitrnbetter with Adderall or ecstasy or if you might be more attractive to boys ifrnyou are willing to do this or that with them, or this to them, or forrnthem.  And then her other friendsrnare very different than that.  Onernfriend has been off to rehab already and one friend comes from a very nutty,rnsort of space-case mother, who I don’t think has any problem with substancernabuse. 

rnrn

So, it’s an epidemic in this nation and it’s killing ourrnkids.  Two weeks before I camernhere, a girl... I went for a hike before church and when I got to the ocean, therernwere 150 people searching for her body, and she'd been partying with herrngirlfriends by the ocean and had wandered off and wasn’t found until the nextrnday when she washed up at Muir Woods. rnSo, it’s a national epidemic. rnIt’s had a huge impact on my own family.  I mean, my son’s friends, some have died.  One of them is at Napa State probablyrnfor a very long time, or forever, and he was the golden child; the golden boyrnof the high school.  And I wantedrnto go really in-depth into it.  Irnwanted to view it from the mother’s point of view, I want to view it from thernpoint of view of the community, and how scary it is to do anything withrnteenagers that might mean they stop loving you or thinking you’re the coolrnparent.  And I wanted to write itrnfrom inside the child, the young adult, who is making it all seem like it’s thernparent’s problem, or fault.

rnrn

Question: How do you makernyour characters seem real to you?

rnrn

Anne Lamott:rnWell, that’s a good question.  I’vernknown these people for a long time. rnI started Rosie in 1980, so that’s 30 years ago; I was going, oh, that’srn15 years ago now.  Is that 30 yearsrnago?  1980—oh my God.  And I can honestly say in this case,rnthis little girl with black curls and enormous Siamese blue eyes came up to mernand tugged on the sleeve of my shirt and I saw her and I knew her name. 

rnrn

And it turns out, my father had a character named CaseyrnFerguson 30 years before that in one of his novels and I don’t even rememberrnreading it, but I loved the name. rnI thought, this was great. 

rnrn

And then I wanted to write about alcoholism because I’m arnsober alcoholic, but I wasn’t at the time; I got sober in 1986.  But I was so fascinated by what wasrnhappening in my interior landscape that this wonderful, adorable, religious,rnhigh-achieving person simply could not stop drinking, if I had one.  I wanted to write about that partly forrnmy own salvation.  And then all ofrna sudden one day, there was a knock at the door of the Ferguson house and they’rerna lonely family; the father has died and Elizabeth, the mother, is shy andrndepressed.  And there’s this big zaftig woman with a kind of Gibson Girl haircut and she’s new in thernneighborhood and she has decided that she and Elizabeth are her new bestrnfriends.  And so, then one day, sherntricks Elizabeth into going to a backpacking trip, but she really minimizesrnwhat it will involve and Elizabeth is just enraged; she’s not a backpack sortrnof girl.  But they meet these twornguys and get drunk with them up at the campfire, and she ends up marryingrnone. 

rnrn

So, little by little they reveal themselves to you if you’rernopen and receptive to what would be the truth of their lives and their arc andrntheir thinking and their growth, or their setbacks.  My main problem is that over and overrnagain, I try to get all my characters to say stuff that I think is so witty orrnerudite you know, so that everybody will go, whoa, that Anne Lamott isrnlike so brilliant, and then I have to go through and take it all out.  I do a final draft where I go throughrnand I take out all the lies. 

rnrn

But you get to know them little by little and you don’trnalways know.  It’s like real life,rnyou don’t know the answer, you don’t know, God or life or your own psyche doesn’trnhave a magic wand and you ask something and all of a sudden receive the answer,rnit’s a process.  And, little byrnlittle, I can answer the questions of my characters predicaments and what theyrnmight reasonably come up with as a response to crises.

rnrn

Question: How do yournbalance autobiography and fiction?

rnrn

Anne Lamott:  Everybody assumes that almost everything I write about that has a teenager in it is arndirect telling of something that Sam went through, which is not the case.  I mean, I’m the teenage girl drugrnaddict.  I love drugs.  I smoked the non-habit-formingrnmarijuana every day for about 20 years, and so people—I’m powerless over whatrnother people assume to be either fact or not, and so people assume that stuff Irnwrite about in novels happened... and mostly the emotional truth of the charactersrnare autobiographical because I’m the only person I know all that well, andrnmostly what happens in the novels never happened in real life. 

rnrn

Then with “Imperfect Birds,” I had five young women who havernall been very druggy, and have mostly grown out of it with one exception, and Irndid very long and extensive interviews with them and I would ask them, whyrnwould you do this with the guys, what do you get in return?  Why would you do that drug if it keepsrnleaving you so crazy and in so much trouble?  I know the answer to that because it’s mood altering andrnanything is better than feeling small and kind of afraid all the time.  

rnrn

But I had these five sources that really helped mernunderstand the psyche of the American druggy girl and a high-achieving druggyrngirl.  And then I have been arnparent of a teenager, and I talked to a lot of the other parents and I said,rnwhy did we not—how did we not notice this or that or the other?  Why were we so afraid?  So, Sam has certainly given me bad, badrnnights and left me wanting to just claw at my own throat with exasperation andrna feeling that no worse parent had ever existed, except for maybe JeffreyrnDahmer’s mother. 

rnrn

But I think that’s what all novelists do.  You draw on your own material and yourntalk to as many people as you can.

rnrn

Question: Before you wentrnsober, did you feel that drink or drugs provided spiritual insight? 

rnrn

Anne Lamott: I canrnmostly say that the writers that I know that have continued to drink or use,rntheir lives are just kind of disgusting messes right now, not to soundrnjudgmental.  But I mean they’rernheartbreaking.  And certainly drugsrntook me to places; they were like portals.  It’s kind of a cliché, but they were like portals to alteredrnstates of consciousness into ways of imagining the world, or seeing a worldrnbeyond this world, or seeing a world beyond this world that I might not haverngotten to unless I discovered meditation and a very deep, intense spiritual pathrnbased on contemplation and meditation. 

rnrn

But you know, I was young.  I quit drinking and drugs when I was 32, so I cycled throughrnrelatively quickly.  And no I don’trnthink I would have this spiritual sense of exuberance and profundity that I—notrnthat I have, but through which I understand the world if it weren’t for drugs,rnalcohol, and poetry.  I canrnhonestly and genuinely say those three things.  But at the same time, probably 90% of the time, I wasrnstoned.  I was so wah, wah—I wasrnlike an idiot.  I was justrnstoned.  I would always wake... andrndrunk.  I was drunk every nightrnfrom about 18 on.  But I lovedrnMethedrine, for instance, and I loved cocaine.  I took possibly too much LSD, and I loved prescriptionrndrugs, and the non-habit-forming marijuana.  But I’d get good and tanked up and I’d start to write, likernyou do if you’re a writer and so I’d stay up really late scribbling like mad,rnlike the Unabomber.  And then I’drnwake up in the morning and it would just be pathological.  It would just be tragic, really.  It would be scrawl. rnAnd yet 10% of it might be stuff that was really great.

rnrn

And so the proportions weren’t excellent, but the fact is, Irnthink it was just the natural order of things.  The natural course of my life.  My family tends to be pretty alcoholic and drug-addicted.  Both of my brothers arernclean are sober also, and a long time, 20-plus years.  And I think drugs are part of the magical possibilities ofrnyouth and I wouldn’t be here if I had continued with it.

rnrn

Question: Is writingrnitself a kind of altered state?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: For me, being a writer is not an altered state.  It’s very ponderous, and very—it’s like being a shoemaker.  You know, shoemakers stick to your last and you stay there working over your last, and it’s pretty drudgy in a lot of ways.  But for me, reading poetry and reading the great works of the canon that we were reading in the ‘60s and the ‘70s and ‘80s was mind altering.  I mean, you know what it’s like, people blow your mind with what they are able to catch and present, and I would say that most of the writers I have loved and been influenced by and had been blown away by were drunks and drug addicts and, you know, I love the Beat poets.  I love Allen Ginsberg as much and in the way that I love Virginia Woolf, or Auden. And a lot of the people I loved the most were suicides.   So, I am drawn to people that arernnot going to shy away from the very dark, scary stuff of the human conditionrnand in a lot of cases people need alcohol or drugs to create poetry and poeticrnpose that can take you so far out there where you are still able to recognizernyourself and then to bring you back home where you’re not the same person yournwere when you left.

rnrn

Question: How did you getrnsober?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: Howrndid I get sober?  Well, I had—whenrnmy dad died when I was 25, my younger brother had been 20, my brother Steve,rnand he worked in landscape architect, he was a laborer, and one of his bestrnfriends had a father who was sober, named Jack.  When our dad died, Steven moved in with this guy Jack andrnthere were all these sober people around his house all the time talking aboutrnhow much they loved being sober and prayer and meditation and helping others,rnand they always had these horrible cakes from Safeway that I happen to reallyrnprefer to good bakery, because I mostly just like the icing, and they always hadrnthis swill, this terrible coffee. rnAnd I was always drinking too much of this swill late at night, whereasrnif I drink coffee at night, I would sleep again several days later.  But, I got to be friends with thisrncharacter named Jack and he’d been a total lush like I am, and he said, yournknow, “We’re not drinking, one day at a time, and everything that we’d everrndreamt has happened for us.”  And Irnsaid, “Well, I’m very religious, very spiritual without your little Safewayrncakes and swill." But like most drunks that had gotten sober, I got to the pointrnwhere I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.  You know?  So, I was getting to a point where I was living in a wayrnthat involved waking up sick and with a lot of shame and just kind of animalrnconfusion.  And one day I calledrnJack and said, “What do I do?”  Andrnhe said, “Why don’t I come over and we’ll talk.”  So, that’s how I got sober and that’s how I stayed sober asrnpeople said, “Why don’t I come over and we’ll talk, and drink our bad coffeernlike communion together.Our badrncoffee and our Safeway cakes.

rnrn

Question: What is thernspiritual path you’ve taken since sobering up?

rnrn

Anne Lamott:rnWell, I became a Christian before I got sober. So I was a drunk, bulimicrnChristian. I wondered into the biracial church across the highway from where Irnlived when I was still drinking very heavily and using.  And the only reason I went in to thisrnchurch, which happened to be Presbyterian, was because it was across the streetrnfrom a flea market and I was there a lot of Sunday mornings when I was so hungrnover.  And when I’m hung over, I’mrndrawn to greasy food and lots of it. rnAnd then I would hear this gospel singing or the songs of the CivilrnRights Movement.  When I grew up,rnmy parents were old lefties, I grew up on the Weavers and Pete Seeger and JoanrnBaez, and they would be singing a lot of the Civil Rights anthems, and so I’drnwander in because I’d run out of good ideas, and no one at my church hassledrnme.  There were about 40 people andrnstill are only about 40 people. rnBut they didn’t try to get me to sign on the dotted line, or tell themrnwho shot the Holy Ghost, they just let me sit there and—they just let me sitrnthere.  And the air wasrnnutritious.  Because there werernpeople who had put their money where their mouths were and they’d done the workrnof social justice and they were true believers.

rnrn

And I lived in the Bay Area, and still do, in the years ofrnAllen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso and Gary Snyder, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti atrnthis founding City Lights.  Myrnfather loved the Beats and worked on a magazine that was very avant-garde inrnthe Bay Area with Evan Connell and a couple of people that were just literaryrngiants.  It was called Contact magazine, so I’d always—andrnAllen Watts was around on his progressive Bay Area radio stations like KPFA. And so I grew up with the consciousness that Christianity was for people whornwere really stupid, but that there was something magical in the religions ofrnthe East and that Buddhism was okay, and Hindu was okay because—Hinduism wasrnokay because Ginsberg was so wildly passionately, sensuously East in hisrnunderstanding of things, and so joyously so.  And so I’ve always understood that meditation had to be part of—orrnwas part of the natural path and so I’ve always sort of dabbled in it.  And the main expression of my spirituality has been this little church that I go to, and my sobriety.  The path of recovery and—I’m a terriblernChristian and meditating is very hard for me, and I do it.  I do it badly, like I do a lot ofrnthings.  I believe in doing thingsrnbadly.  I believe in listening tornthe—what calls you from your heart and your spirit and if you do it badly, likernlearning to dance, you do it badly or you’re going to kick yourself when yourngrow old and you meant to do it.

rnrn

Question: Do you likernthat you're known as “The People’s Author?"

rnrn

Anne Lamott: Irncan honestly say there is nothing I would rather be known as than “The People’srnAuthor.”  I’ve never heard that,rnand I’m thinking you got it from some blog from some guy who is like completelyrnwasted on ecstasy and cheap red wine when he said it.  But if it were true, I would love that. 

rnrn

And, being a person who believes that all truth is paradoxrnand contradiction, I just get a sucked in as any writer into the jungle drumsrnof publication and wishing that I were on the “Today” Show this morning insteadrnof David Remnick and how it’s not fair and how it’s not fair that he’s not thisrnand that and he’s on “Fresh Air” and so I have a kind of bitterness that goesrnalong with this sense of being “The People’s Author,” and really feeling like arnmissionary most of the time and just wanting to tell people... the truth of myrnexperience is that we are all a lot more alike than we are different. And thatrnif I share something that seems kind of intimate, or autobiographical, it’srnbecause I assume it’s true for you too. rnAnd I’ve told it so many times and everybody said, “Oh yeah, me too.”  I’m not telling anything that isn’trntrue for most of us.  And it justrnhas to do with it.  We can seemrnsort of spiritual and hippy-dippy like I think I come across, and tree huggerrnand San Francisco and all that. rnAnd at the same time be sort of enraged that the New York glitterati arerngetting the great spots in the media the week that I’m on tour on the EastrnCoast. 

rnrn

Question: Do yournconsciously try to win more fans?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: I would say the most important thing is to pretend that you’rernabove all of that.  But certainly,rnI’m just finding this week—we’re taping this the day of publication—and I’mrnfinding just so much manipulation and kind of desperado stuff going on insidernme, and I’m trying to suck people into my web, and I’m trying to use oldrncontacts kind of in the most casual way to try to get them to shoehorn me ontornCNN maybe later today after I sign stock at the Riverhead office.  So, I find a lot inside me. 

rnrn

The thing is, I’ll be 56 at the end of the week and I don’trnact on it as much as I used to. rnBefore, I would have done it all and I would have just been dancing asrnfast as I could to try to suck in and please everyone and seduce everyone andrnpush everyone harder to get—and now I just feel too tired, and I’m kind of achyrnfrom the long flight and so, the impulse is there, and probably this side ofrnthe grave.  It just comes with thernterritory; it comes with the turf of being a well-known writer is that I have arndisease called "More."  And if Irnhave a huge audience, I’d like a bigger audience; maybe slightly a slightlyrnmore illustrious audience.  Maybernif Susan Sontag were alive she would want to be my best friend.

rnrn

Question: Does arnsuccessful writing life require personal integrity?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: Irndon’t think I could make that argument. rnIn that a lot of the writers I loved best have had disastrous lives,rnlives that were full of secrecy and lives that were about getting the surfacernto look right and teaching at the right university and having the right crowdrnof friends and colleagues and contacts.... and I would say that I think, you know,rnthat’s a very interesting question. rnI think I could write about it much better than I could talk about itrnoff the cuff.  It’s the kind ofrnwriting I do.  I’ve chosen to tryrnto be honest and to try to share my experience, strength, and hope, and whatrnhappens is, I tell all this stuff and a lot of it is just genuinely not thatrninteresting.  And my experience asrna writer is that you really do write seven and eight pages to find the paragraphrnyou were after all along.  Andrnhonesty is not necessarily interesting. rnI don’t want to hear about your dreams or your acid trips, probably...rnunless you make them really interesting. rnAnd if you have a voice and rnyou’ve developed the skill over the years in the same way a pianistrnwould develop the skills starting with the scales... if you’ve developed a way ofrntelling stories that draws me in and makes me trust you—like Spalding Gray,rnsay, then he would tell stories that were not necessarily about very, very farrnout stuff, but I would be riveted, but there’s another life, a very, veryrntragic life lived by one of the funniest storytellers in the last 20rnyears. 

rnrn

So, honesty can be devastating, certainly to people in yourrnfamily are not hoping that you’re going to be a writer who usesrnautobiographical material, who suddenly decides he or she is going to tell therntruth of what family life was like in the early ‘60s, or during the Eisenhowerrnyears.  I have been somebody whornhas not written a great deal about the truth of my family’s life.  I have not—I so have the goods onrnpeople.  I so have the goodsrnon my closest friends, and I don’t use it because my closest friends are morernimportant to me than anything.  Irndon’t write about the intimate details of my cousins and aunts and uncles, andrnmy mother and my father... because it’s not right to, for me. 

rnrn

Other writers have and they do feel that, just—Faulknerrnsaying that if you ran over your grandmother in the interest of writing arnbrilliant novel that threw the lights on for thousands and thousands of people,rnit’s a fair trade.  I don’t feelrnthat.

rnrn

Question: What are thernbest writing exercises you know?

rnrn

Anne Lamott: WhenrnI used to teach writing, I had lots of them, but writing fiction, shortrnstories, and novels is really about creating—having to create some charactersrnthat we’re really interested in really quickly because the trick is, you’ve gotrnto get people to turn the page, unfortunately.  Maybe in the books they’re only going to read the first twornpages.  So you create a couple ofrncharacters that right away are interesting.  You put them in a situation where there’s tension and wherernthe poor reader feels, “Oh God, I wonder what happens now?”  So I used to have people getting—peoplernwho couldn’t stand each other getting stuck in elevators, or metaphoricallyrngetting stuck in elevators. rnGetting stuck in a situation where they really don’t want to berntogether.  Or, something is found,rnlike in “Blue Shoe,” the novel from a number of years ago; something that isrnfound as meaningless.  It’s arnlittle tiny rubber blue shoe.  Arnhigh top, a Converse, I think, that with a perfectly delineated shoe lace, it’srnalmost microscopic in size in that little round label that doesn’t say Conversernbecause it would be a copyright violation.  Those little things somebody got in a gumball machine, andrnyet to try to figure out why the father held onto it all those years, opens up...rnlike in “The Wizard of Oz” when the movie goes from black and white torncolor.  It throws the family’srnhistory into color.  And that’s notrnalways a good thing.  It’s always arngood thing, but it’s often very painful and disturbing and distressing.  And it’s often like the house of cardsrncoming down, however, in color. 

rnrn

And so that’s a situation I would often ask my students tornwrite about, finding something that you instantly know is like—can’t think ofrnthe word.  What’s that thing—arntalisman.  Or either something thatrnis protective, or that’s something that sets the hero’s journey intornmotion. 

rnrn

My experience of exercises is that they’re great when you’rernin class or workshops, but for me, I kind of work daily on exercises, but that’srnshort assignments again.  I’m goingrnto say to myself... like the other day I was actually writing and Irnhad gone to a bilingual Good Friday service in San Francisco at one of the oldrnmission churches from the days when Spain ruled over Mexico and then theyrnestablished the mission system in California.  It’s a magnificent church and it is truly the people’srnchurch.  And it is very bilingualrnand it’s very middle-class and poor. rnAnd half of the mass is in Spanish, which I don’t speak, and half is inrnEnglish.  And it’s so much richerrnwhen you can’t understand the words because it takes you to places insidernyourself and inside the community expression of grief and hope and the great shalom that you are welcome both by God and by this one community.  And I was trying to write about it andrnit’s about huge themes.  But it wasrnabout a one-hour service.  And so Irnmade that the title, "Bilingual GoodrnFriday," just for now and I started writing about it.  But what it did was it made it possiblernfor me to tell the story of a mother with a 8-month old grandson asleep in herrnarms when he wasn’t spluttering and making loud farting noises, usually at timesrnof silence.  And with a best friendrnwith a 40-year standing, in a community of almost entirely Hispanic people.  It had a beginning, it had a middle,rnand it had an end, and half of it was in a language I don’t speak. 

rnrn

And so the exercise was just that, to capture it.  Now, I could have written 25 pages, butrnyou personally, I know are not going to want to read it.  And I don’t know that you’re arnChristian, I don’t know if you want to read about my family, and why I havernsuch a woman as young as myself has such a young son has an 8-month oldrngrandson with her.  But, so I wroternit and I wrote a really terrible first draft of it, which is always a firstrnassignment.  And then I went backrnand I took out the stuff that wasn’t any good, or was kind of overwrought, orrnthat was preachy, or that was lies. rnAnd so what I was left with was about five pages.  And it was, I can say, it’s notrnwell-written and I wrote it right before I left for tour, but it’s exactly whatrnI had hoped to create. 

Recorded April 6, 2010
rnInterviewed by Austin Allen
rn

rnrnrnrnrnrn