“If I knew how it was going to end, I probably wouldn’t write it.”
– Tom Robbins in 1994, as told to Tod Mesirow
Tom Robbins, author of classics like Still Life of Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, takes us inside the mind of a writer who’d prefer writing with a raven quill dipped in lizard blood. For many, including tons of college students, Robbins transported readers to another world where it seemed possible that enormously oversized thumbs could bring you happiness, and romance could take place inside a pack of cigarettes. Where do these fantastic stories begin?
We present outtakes from a previously unheard interview Robbins did with Tod Mesirow back in 1994 for a film about authors that was never made. In this episode of Blank on Blank, Robbins dreams about a nurse serving him tequila sunrises when he’s 85, why he took a two-by-four to typewriter and works in pen and paper, how his first attempts at writing began when he was five and a story about a pilot stuck on a deserted island, and how he pours over every word in his books 30 or 40 times.
Colorful chatter from Tom Robbins = made for animation.
Tom Robbins Quotes
“I’d like to go back to the Raven quill, actually, dipped in lizard blood or something. Write on orange butcher paper.”
“When I’m 80 years old, 85, hopefully, I’ll be pushed around in a wheelchair by a red-headed nurse with panty outline. She’ll make me little tequila sunrises and I’ll read my complete works then.”
“I owned an electric Remington [typewriter] briefly, but we had a turbulent relationship. It made so much noise, it hummed all the time, it was like it was looking over your shoulder, egging you on”
“There’s not a word in one of my books that hasn’t been gone over 25, 30, 35, 40 times. I read every sentence over and over again and rework it, not particularly looking for a more shining truth, but looking for the right rhythm.”
“Words on a page can hypnotize you if the rhythm is right.”
“I don’t work from an outline. I have no idea where the book is going.”
Get the interview backstory, GIFs and more @ http://blankonblank.org
Photo credit: Getty Images