out of her head

Pam Houston is one of my all-time favorite writers.  She is a master at getting it out of her head and onto the page.  Take for example this bit of dialogue from her novel, Sight Hound:

“You know,” she said, “I’m not going to be one of those girls who plays hard to get, because first, I’m too old for it, and second, I am hard to get, if simply by virtue of my schedule.  I don’t have time for the peek-a-boo part of a relationship, and if you could see how empty my expectation bucket is at present you would be truly amazed.”

She is also the master of the real.  This paragraph is from her story, “The Best Girlfriend You Never Had,” one of The Best American Short Stories of the Century.

“Leo grew up like I did on the East Coast, eating Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Swanson’s deep-dish meat pies on TV trays next to our parents and their third martinis, watching What’s My Line and To Tell the Truth on television and talking about anything on earth except what was wrong.”

She is the also the master of the metaphor.  This paragraph, from the same story.

“There was a man there named Josh who didn’t want nearly enough from me, and a woman called Thea who wanted way too much, and I was sandwiched between them, one of those weaker rock layers like limestone that disappears under pressure or turns into something shapeles like oil.”

Running through these excerpts and all her writing is the truth.