On writing

 

Here’s a bit from his more lucid days.

Sometimes the question arises “How do you write?”  It’s not for everyone, but I like this man’s advice. It worked reasonably well for him. You are sorely missed, Mark E.

Mark drew his inspiration from amphetamines and the bottle. It only took 60 years, but it killed him. We always knew it would and I think so did he. And I think he didn’t care because he was too busy living. Look what he did with 40 of those 60 years.

That was Mark’s secret. Not the pints, not the pills. Those were only ingredients. Mark lived his art. Most of us are afraid to do this, or even try. Count myself of those numbers.

I have spent most of my life wearing foreign garb, going in places where I did not belong. Part of the whole game, but always on the periphery; always holding the rail and ready to jump. I had to nearly die to confront living, causing me to embrace a new philosophy: believe your life.

I have always been a writer, but my epiphany arrived late. It was suppressed, delayed, for what purpose not mine to know. A lifetime of creativity sublimated is released, yours to suffer if you dare. Following is a brief excerpt from my novel. It is from the mind of one of the chief protagonists of the story, Swede Larsson:

 

Swede took another hit as it was passed back to him. “Well, Grand Rapids originally, but I been all over.” After he said this he thought about it. Home. That was a long way from here. In miles and in time. The last time he had been home was about ten years ago. Not his home town, but home. As both a place and an idea it was alien to him now.

Swede was still a young man, though older than his current company. Just a few short months shy of his 26th birthday. No one would ever guess; he didn’t look a day older than 20, as if there was that much of a difference. Ten years of shit jobs, irregular gigs, bouncing from place to place. He’d been to California twice. Up the coast to Seattle. Chicago. Actually had a fairly steady gig there for a while until their lead guitarist croaked it on a heroin overdose. Played a lot in Detroit, but nothing steady. He had always ended up back in Michigan, but when he left this time he was resolved to never going back there.

He knew he was a good, no, not good, a great drummer. But somehow it never quite came together. Besides washing dishes or cutting grass, though, he really didn’t know how to do anything else. Never really wanted to do anything else. Whatever day job he had ever had when someone asked him what he did the answer sprang to his lips quite naturally: I am a drummer.

 

It’s me. It’s my moment. I am a writer. No more convoluted explanations. It’s what I do, it’s who I am. It’s the answer without qualification.

 

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