It will be timed writing practices from here on out because I will not be known for writing a memoir. Timed Writing Practice is the answer. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is a great source for breaking out as a writer.
There are two kinds of writers, those that met Norman Mailer and those that never met Norman Mailer. I met Norman Mailer in 1991 at Elliot Bay Book Store in Seattle, Washington. He signed his book, Harlot’s Ghost, for me.
A thought has occurred to me. If goals are important then figuring out what you are aiming at might be a good early step. If one was to aim to win a short story contest then the writing would be of a certain effort and caliber. If one is wanting a much bigger prize, like the Nobel or Pulitzer prize, then a different level of skill and commitment would be in order. I have always recoiled against Genre writing maybe because I only want a big prize for my efforts. Not only learning to write well, but studying the masters of Literature as a life’s goal seems to be in order.
I was born in a college town, Lafayette, Indiana where Purdue University is; I was raised living next to one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, in both Glenview and Waukegan, Illinois; I lived in Europe in West Germany before the Berlin Wall came down; I now live on an island surrounded by salt water, Camano Island in Washington State. Starts and stops are easier to remember than the mundane existence of daily life.
The best advice I have ever heard is to try and write everyday, and to be reading two books at the same time…one a craft book and the other a book you would like to have written. Start by writing Short Stories.
I drove home in the wife’s 1991 Toyota SR-5 P/U at about 1400 in the afternoon. I took the Stanwood-Camano Island exit and drove West. At the 2nd intersection there was an old Ford truck trying to turn left, an Acura with a Blonde in it, and plenty of room to get around said truck. After awhile I laid on the horn to get the blonde to get moving and she started vibrating in place. I said F this, snapped the wheel to get around her and zipped down the road. I have always swept back and forth to check mirrors and gauges, when all of a sudden a little white Acura was catching up to me as if I was parked. I remember saying 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and tossing the truck into the ditch, but not quite as she blew through where I had just been. When she finally hit the brakes she slid for a very long time. At the Haggen light she was in the turn lane and I got her to roll down her window and I asked her if she wanted another shot at trying to kill me. She just vibrated in place.
I got this idea. I’m thinking that if I write everyday and write about a page of usable verbiage then in about one year I will have written a 365 page book.
When I was very young and lived in Glenview, IL, my neighbor had a red 1964 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. I would stare at that car through my grandmother’s split-rail type fence and weeping willows. I have always loved Corvettes especially the Coke Bottle Vettes, those made from 1968-1982 that are now referred to as C3 Corvettes. Every time I got wound up and went out looking for a Corvette to buy I have always ended up with something else, a Porsche, a Mercedes, a full size Ford Bronco for example. I have always wanted a Vette, but I have never owned one. One day I was bopping down highway 99 in Lynwood, WA just looking around at what car dealers had to offer. I spotted a 1974 black Corvette with a big block and a 4 speed wedged into a little rundown car dealer. I parked and asked about the car and the kid said he would get it out for me. We drove across the street to get $5 gas at Texaco. He let me drive from there. Going North he had me turn right onto a suburban side street. We were bombing down a big toboggan sled kind of hill reaching speeds of about 90 when all of a sudden he told me to take a quick right onto a hairpin that dropped away from the road we had just descended on. Down shifting to 2nd and stomping on the gas made the Vette keep level while the road dropped away from us creating the feeling of grabbing a major wheelie. The kid was screaming at the top of his lungs through that corner and down that hill like we were going to die. Back at the dealership he asked what I thought and I said the car needed too much. I should have bought that car cuz I had just made it dance.
Giving away a boat, for free, is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I have had 2x boats, gave one away finally after several attempts. But, my first boat still sits here, mounted atop a broken down E-Z Loader trailer. I have put it on Craigslist, the work classifieds, word of mouth, and I have even begged. The ads always list what is good about the boat, but only list what is bad about the trailer. I always list is a FREE, and inform the potential buyers that you cannot move it, you just can’t show up, put it together and tow it away. FREE and you can’t just drive it home. People are deaf. When I have got someone interested and that is willing to drive all the way out to where I live to see it the same scenario happens every time: I need to borrow YOUR/MY tools and where are all of the parts so that I/they can just put it together. It seems that every one thinks they’re a mechanic, if I tell you that you cannot just put the parts back together, well it’s a good bet you will never move the boat and trailer as is. The boat and trailer still sits outside getting wet, just not on the bottom side.
My wife and I drove over to Zayre, a poor-man’s K-mart where I had once worked, and noticed a guy in a Firebird sitting in the Fire Lane. I told him to move his car and he told me to go F-myself, I then said that his mom raised him wrong. I parked against the fence and got out of my car. He was running across the parking lot full tilt, wound up to hit me, and upon reaching me gave it all he had right on my chin. I didn’t go anywhere. Fear crept into his eyes as he realized that I had every right to kill him. His wife came pouring out of the store screaming, “Don’t hit him!” It was the same girl that had sold us our wedding invitations just a few months before. When we left, I went and parked next to him, did a neutral drop and filled his car with tire smoke.