something out of nothing
An odd photo, I agree. It is, of course, a view of the porch at my little cabin in the Ozark woods. It was where I spent the most recent long Saturday afternoon writing a letter to a friend. You know, old school, with a pencil on pieces of paper. When I got home, I put the pieces of paper in an envelope, wrote an address that did not include an @ sign on the outside, put a stamp on the envelope, and mailed it.
I’m going to do my best not to write about my Fathers and Sons stories in this post (aside from stating that it not only feels like I’m writing a novel, but it feels like I’m reading it, as though the more I write, the sooner I will find out all that happens).
So what can I tell you? I could mention my four children: the web entrepreneur, the engineer, the doctor, the special ed teacher. Or I could tell you about my wonderful wife who raised them all to be such high achievers. Then there are the two dogs in our household: Flike, the hyperactive Border Collie, and Queequeg, the willful little Pomeranian. I could tell you about how we just had our house painted a screaming yellow that I hope will annoy the beige-loving neighbors or how we just had new, oversized gutters installed since all of my gutter-cleaning ladder climbers (and lawn mowers) moved out. (Who knew that would happen all those years ago when I was changing diapers? I had three boys in diapers at one point.)
I could tell you the name of my favorite beer: Boulevard Wheat. (I also frequently fall back on Bud Light.) I could mention that I have an undergraduate degree in business administration (ugh!) and a master’s degree in professional writing. I could tell you I was born in Kansas City and raised in St. Louis and that all of my children were born in St. Louis and raised in Kansas City. Or that the woman I would one day marry used to work at the IHOP only a block from my childhood home in St. Louis. She may have even waited my table once.
I could mention that before I devoted myself to fiction more or less full time, I used to write free-lanced feature articles for magazines. I have more than sixty of them to my credit (depending on how you count reprints), and I made some pretty good money at it for what I considered a hobby. (Compare that to the whopping $10 I’ve made so far with my fiction!) And while I am now an office drone in a soul-killing multinational corporation (for the healthcare benefits, of course), I have been a bank teller, a technical writer, a college English teacher, a magazine associate editor, and even a book editor in my time.
I could tell you that in the last six months I’ve taking up running. Last December I probably hadn’t run more than a half dozen steps at once for more than a decade. Now I’m up to three miles. I do it in part for the exercise, as well as to work off some of Flike’s excess energy. But now that I’m up to some distance (and the time it takes to cover that at my trotting pace), I’ve found it to be a good way to work on my stories. Mostly I’m working out backstory that I’ll never include in my pieces. (I imagine myself being interviewed by Terry Gross and explaining my stories.) But sometimes I refine a bit of wording. And occasionally I even “imagine” parts of story development. It gets me through the slog of throwing one foot in front of the other. I have my eye on some 5Ks next year!
But you probably don’t want to hear about all of that.Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.