Bettina Gilois interviews Miriam Sagan at Blacktop Passages

BG: If writing is a road what kind of road are you on? Is it a winding mountain incline? A wooded path? A freeway?

MS: What is the road? It’s really been many different kinds of roads. If I have
to summarize, it’s been a road into the remote. I am very easily scared.

A little dirt road in a little subdivision is enough to make me think I’m in the vast wilderness. But it’s been a road that has been away from civilization. I spent several weeks out in Wendover, Utah in the barracks at the edge of the Salt Flats at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. And probably that was the most psychologically remote place I had ever been. It was very, very compelling. I tend to think I’m further away from things than I really am. Two hours out of Salt Lake and I think I’m at the edge of the earth.

BG: How would you describe your relationship to writing? Are you two lovers? Friends? Siblings?

MS: I used to think it was a classic S&M relationship. Writing was the dominatrix. And I was the slave. This muse does not care about me at all personally. Am I hungry; am I tired? Do I want to write? Do I not want to write? Do I need to make a living? It felt like a harsh mistress so to speak.

Then I would say I outgrew this need to for highly romantic relationships. Settled down by the time I was thirty or so. I’d say it’s very passionate. I often feel, and I don’t know if other people experience this, I feel like I’m going to be with the writing. Certain things I want to wear. Certain things I want to eat.

It’s like a date. Certain things I want to read. Being with the writing the way you want to be with a spouse. I want to keep the writing entertained. I want to look good. It’s very personal.

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