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.
I had already signed up to go in the USAF and was in the Delayed Enlistment program for almost 11 months. If I had gone down to the MEPS station at a different time during the month I wouldn’t have had to wait as long. I tried to get out of my enlistment, but my recruiter put a note in my file saying I was nervous and to disregard. My dad was a draft dodger and I was used as his excuse for not having to serve in Vietnam.
I worked for a company that moved machinery before going active duty and one day we had a job at the VA in North Chicago, Illinois. It was like stepping into a time warp. There were patients there who had been in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and dozens of incursions in between. The patients were fairly easy to tell apart due to the age gaps of their service. Fierce Eyes and lonely vigils were kept for family members that seemed to never come. We did our job and I spent as much time as I could with these Vets. I think these Vets impacted me for the rest of my life.
When I was young I wrote stories about climbing trees, playing with a friend, and playing with my dog. All of these stories ended the same with my mother walking in and the narrative would just stop. You’d think someone would have noticed this, but no one cared. I never wrote a book report for school, not even one. I graduated high school with no real plans besides becoming a mechanic. Right after high school I had an epiphany and for about a month I though long and hard about writing for car magazines. I had been reading Road & Track for three years and was also reading Hot Rod magazine. A lot of thought and not one word written down about it. In the service I found myself buying lots and lots of books, but only reading sporadically. When I was 25 I read A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and was inspired to become a writer. Sporadic reading and writing ensued. I pursued a BA and chose the testing out method for various reasons and almost never wrote a paper until the last class. I took three classes that required writing: College Writing; Research Paper; and the final Capstone. After I retired from working on airplanes I wanted to take a certificate course @ UW in Genealogy, but my wife talked me into pursuing a Certificate in Writing. I didn’t feel like writing anymore. Now I have returned to work and the only thing I want to do is to retire again. So here I am, a writer that doesn’t write.
I don’t think my problem is that I do not want to write, but that I have no ambitions.
“Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved–to write a book.” Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
cuddly wedge head, Spin!
Willie war boy / party girl
bully back-up lights
reason rules the day
rose petals through noiseless stream
Scottish monarchs ruled
over the heather and hills
Haggis, Kilts, and Blood
Big climbing mountains
train for Everest, K2
alpine makes its own weather
rain, snow, cold, isolation
is where I’ll soon be going
ice floes breaking up
Wet brown bears fishing
flying meals must be tasty
at play in the falls
amazing flying rage; boom!
–get away from me
feelings will fail you
real love is a decision
heal first, then move on
Kiss me, great beauty
move me hinge-less thru rapture
love me all my days
the world is not enough, dig!
know thyself, and laugh
There seem to be as many books about writing as there are stars in the sky. Here are a few of my favorites:
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
Fearless Writing – William Kenower
A Natural History of the Senses – Diane Ackerman
Henry Miller on Writing
On Writing Well – William Zinsser
One Writers Beginnings – Eudora Welty
Sin and Syntax – Constance Hale
The Right to Write – Julia Cameron
The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing – Norman Mailer
Writing is My Drink – Theo Pauline Nestor
A Dangerous Profession – Frederick Busch
The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers – Christopher Vogler
From here on out, I will do my best to write Mystery stories to the best of my ability and if they turn into literary fiction, so be it. If they stay at the level of genre fiction that’s okay too as long as I am better than James Michener. I really can’t stand his writing especially the constant need for the info dump. I might also write Thrillers cuz I like them better than Mysteries.