It's..... The happiest blog on earth

A few years before his death, Dashiell Hammett wrote a short story called "Tulip." A no-good drifter visits a writer, offering to tell his life story as juicy material for a mystery.

Hammett's writer character isn't interested.

"[W]here in the name of God do you get the notion that writers go around hunting for things to write about? Organizing material is the problem, not getting it. Most of the writers I know have far too many things on tap; they're snowed under with stuff they'll never get around to."

I wondered if Hammett secretly wrote himself into the story. And I really enjoyed this exchange between the drifter and the writer.

"Pop, do you want me to tell you why it is you always start to sulk as soon as anybody says anything about your writing?"

"No, I don't," I said honestly.