Saturday, July 24, 2010


I live in a regular neighborhood. It’s full of regular people doing regular things. As a writer, I have often wondered what it would be like to have other writers living around me. Famous ones. I think block parties would be incredibly interesting, and borrowing cups of sugar could turn into epic conversations. What would carpools be like? Trick or treating?

If Nora Ephron lived next door, I would probably spend a lot of time hanging around at her house. I’ll never forget the article she wrote about being mystified as to how those of us in suburbia get anything accomplished, due to all the walking and driving required out here in the heartland. So having Nora next door and taking her to the mall would be hilarious. She would DIE at the size of the parking lot! We’d get makeovers and talk about our neck wrinkles. We would compare notes about menopause. I am sure she would love being my pal.

I would think that a romance novelist would make a great neighbor. My choices would be writers who write with a bit of edge and insight. Not that Danielle Steele would be unwelcome, but I would prefer Elizabeth Buchan. She can write about the spurned wife like no other. I bet her house would be very comfortable and that her bookshelves would cause me pangs of envy. And if we also had Joanna Trollope in the area, would the three of us get together and talk about our angst ridden children or the just how difficult our relatives are?

For some excitement, I would love having Elizabeth George in the vicinity. What kinds of mysteries might she concoct using the locals as inspiration? Would she craft a character around me? Would an accordion player get murdered and his wife be the main suspect? How fun! And if Sue Grafton was around, would she include ME in one of her alphabet mysteries?

I would be thrilled if Meghan Daum lived nearby. That would mean that our neighborhood is of a very high standard, indeed. Our property values would go up due directly to her decision to buy a house here. She and I would compare DIY projects and I would be very honest in advising her about paint colors.

If Craig Wilson were a neighbor, everyone would want to go over to his house during the holidays. His columns in USA Today evoke such charm. I am sure that his Christmas decorations would be inspired, and that we’d gather around the piano and sing Carols. There would be delicious food, punch, and mistletoe. He would regale us with stories of his fascinating life and travels.

I have a great neighborhood. There are doctors, lawyers, delightful children, lovable dogs, and women that I admire. We are a congenial group. But I can’t help thinking about what having Steig Larsson around the block might have been like. Dark. Would he have brooded at the block parties? Would he have given out "Swedish Fish" on Halloween?

But then again, if he lived around here, his book might have been called “The Girl with the Ladybug Tattoo.”


  1. Oh, I absolutely adore Elizabeth George! If she lived next door to you, make sure she brings the dashing Inspector Lynley.

    And the murder implement would probably be the accordion!

    I would love to have Douglas Adams as a neighbor. If he were alive and well and not busy hitchhiking through the galaxy.

    I don't live in suburbia, but one of my neighbors in the area is Christopher Hitchens. He used to only brings booze to the block parties.

  2. I think it would be really interesting to have some historians living by you. Think of the wealth of knowledge they could give you.

    I wonder what Stieg's house was like. Dark and scary??

  3. Such a creative idea. Literary carpools, indeed! Thanks for this.

  4. I think Stieg Larsson would give out Hot Tamales for Halloween and make one hell of a witches brew.

  5. "The Girl with the Ladybug Tattoo"

    *snort* *snarf*

    Nice one, good lady! :)

  6. Love your slant, great idea.

    M idea of awesome neighbors would be Benjamin Franklin, Gracian Baltasar, a saucy Courtesan...can you tell I like diversity ;)

    Do wish I could have folks find me via twitter rather than these free blogging sites. I have profile but spend no time there ;)

  7. I think? That these fabulous writers? Would be just as boring and regular as your real-life neighbors. What you want are their books come to life in the neighboring houses.

    That would be awesome.

    The authors themselves? I'm guessing would be regular people doing regular things. Like regular people.

  8. If I lived next door to Diana Gabaldon, I would be ever curious as to the artifacts she had in her house. It would be awe-inspiring to have her as my pal, and we could plan a trip to Scotland, where she would take me on a tour of the historical sites she researched for her books. I love this blog post. It really makes a person contemplate!

  9. It was a pleasure chatting with you tonight, Molly. Didn't know I was tweeting with a celebrity. :) Hope to hear from you soon!
    - Kevin Douglas

  10. Sounds like a great place to live, the kind of place where you can borrow a cup of sugar.

  11. Thank you all for the great comments. I wish I had writers for neighbors. However, the ones I have a primo. And they read my blog!

  12. I want to live in your neighborhood too. Not because of all these authors, but because you would be there. :)

  13. That would be a pretty neat neighborhood. I think mine would be a scary one though with R.L. Stein, Stephen King & others. Maybe I shouldn't wish to live in such a place lol.

  14. Totally unrelated to this hilarious post, I wanted to thank you for commenting on my blog, and let you know I replied! Also please send address for your neighborhood because I am definitely moving there!

  15. We'd like to live next door to Nora Ephron as well, oh the When Harry Met Sally stories we'd swap!


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