Eugenides: It is, actually. It’s a pleasurably absorbing activity. I do it a lot, obviously. Most every day, and all day long. So I had better well be enjoying myself. And yet it’s often demoralizing. Right though, and ever since I figured this book out, I’ve been working away more or less happily, or at least without significant dread. Chekhov said he wrote as easily as a bird sings. That would be nice. I’m like a bird who’s listened to all the other birds singing. Over there, in the next yard (very distant), are the songs I like. For a while I imitated them as best I could, until I figured out my own song, which I am now contentedly singing. Of course, what the bird doesn’t know (because it has a birdbrain) is that it isn’t just a matter of learning one song. You have to come up with a new song for every book. For now, I’ve got the song for this book. And that’s when it becomes fun. That’s why you don’t want to finish too quickly. Because the part that’s fun comes between the discovery of the song and the singing of the last note. Then you’re back to silence, and listening. And that can be a bit rough, especially for an increasingly older bird like me.