As many of you know the late writer Erma Bombeck is my heroine. In a previous column, I’ve explained why I’m such a fan of hers. She had great style. Her witty and insightful views on life and family were simply the best. She was prolific too. For over thirty years, her professional resume included thrice weekly newspaper columns (Wit’s End) that grew to include TV scripts, magazine articles, books, lectures, and a long-time stint on ‘Good Morning, America’. I have read all of her books several times and always come away with something new.
But surely, despite how much I, along with millions of others, love her work, occasionally she must have written some clinkers. There must have been times when the duties of mother-hood, wife-hood, writer-hood, possibly grandmother-hood took their toll on her tremendous talent. A toll that left her too exhausted to tap out even one coherent sentence. Periodically, Ms. Bombeck must have sat down at her typewriter, stared at the blank page and thought nothing but blank thoughts or even worse, lame thoughts. After all she was only human. Which is why I ask the question today: ‘What Would Erma Write?’.
If she had a secret stash of surefire go-to topics, or a Muse who could knock the block out of writer’s block, or even a mysterious Pandora’s box of ideas locked inside her desk, what did she do when she had used up all of her secret stash of subjects, or her Muse was away on vacation or she discovered that her Pandora’s box was empty? Who knows? I certainly don’t. Nonetheless, whatever it was she had or did, I sure wish I had or could do it too.
But I don’t. Which is why I am going to stop writing for the day, shut off my computer, cocoon myself in a hand-crocheted blanket, tuck my cold feet under my dog’s warm body, make a pot of Earl Gray tea and curl up with my favorite Erma Bombeck book…or maybe two.