"What you're doing isn't frivolous, Tom. I think that back in caveman days, people would gather around a fire, and the wolves would be howling, and one person would start talking. And he would tell a story, so we wouldn't be so scared in the dark." —Maxwell Perkins to Thomas Wolfe in the film "Genius." This morning I watched the last half hour of "Genius," the movie that provided yesterday's evening entertainment at 3 rue des Hêtres. In one scene, Thomas Wolfe and Maxwell Perkins, his friend and editor, pass a breadline in New York City. "People are starving," Wolfe shouts, waving his arms (he does a lot of arm-waving in this film). "Who cares about my life story? These people can't even read! What I do is frivolous!" Okay, so he's Thomas Wolfe, the author of "Look Homeward, Angel," and he gets to be dramatic and to have Max Perkins for an editor--but I hear this type of self-doubt a lot. So this morning, I set down my cup of coffee and I put the movie on pause long enough to write this post for you, starting with Perkins's response (which doesn't actually come until the next scene--Perkins is a man who weighs his words). Max Perkins was, of course, one of the most celebrated editors of all time. Editors aren't supposed to be celebrated, but Perkins, who is responsible for The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises, among other great novels, did have a knack and we can all learn from him. There is nothing frivolous about telling your story. You don't have to be Thomas Wolfe. Write the truth, with honesty, and courage, and compassion. A little humor doesn't hurt.