Literary dementia seems dated now, but there was a time when a month in the funny farm was as de rigueur for budding writers as an M.F.A. is now. To be sent away was a badge of honor; to undergo electroshock, a glorious martyrdom.
When I got to Los Angeles, I started building cabins in peoples' yards, building post-and-beam structures and cutting the joinery for those.
Every step of progress the world has made has been from scaffold to scaffold, and from stake to stake.
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