I didn’t give it a second thought when friend Denice emailed the first week in September to ask if I would take time off work to hear writer Elizabeth Berg speak at the Kent District Library in November. I’m sure you can guess my answer. What better way for an English teacher to spend a personal day, no?!
Ms. Berg is every bit as down-to-earth as her characters: she is funny and warm and took the time to autograph every attendee’s book. There’s nothing like getting a peek into the life of a writer I’ve read and loved. Berg begins her day writing and said it’s a “great job when you can work in your pajamas”, drink “90 cups of coffee”, and then take the dog for a walk. (Sounds pretty good to me, too!) She was also open about the more creative aspects of the writing life, saying she doesn’t know a book’s ending when she begins writing. Writing is a “process of discovery and surprise” and Berg believes in the “wisdom and creativity in [the] subconscious”.
We listened as Berg read passages from Arthur Truluv and she confessed that the book is now her favorite. (It might be mine, too.) She graciously took the time to answer audience questions and when asked if there was a story she hadn’t written yet, Berg said she always has an idea for another book … adding “may it ever be so”.
I’m pretty sure her readers feel the same.