For the past week I've been working on a foreword for a friend's book. What is this thing I'm making? When the work starts to surprise me, I feel I'm moving beyond the boundaries of my ordinary sense, which is usually muddled and awkward and upset. The logic of the work takes over, and as I move into new territory, I change with the work, no longer that unhappy creature. With writing I want more than a "product" (ugh), more than an audience for that product, I want to capture that feeling of surprise, of finding unforeseeable depths, which connects me to the wider world. It's a wonderful feeling, and I wish I'd just sit still long enough to plod, word by word, bird by bird, until I reach that moment.