Friday, December 31, 2010

Finding time to write: A transition

Finding the time to write takes discipline and time management. Most of us are inspired by thoughts of escaping the family by writing poetry in sealed cards, think of Raymond Carver. When I shared the news that my novel was released, I received a collection of expressions. Surprise was the first, followed by questions such as, “Where do you find the time to write? I didn’t know you wrote? What is the novel about? Do you think they’d make it into a movie?” This brings me to this essay. I have loved writing since I was a boy; I’d sit on top of the staircase landing and write stories or draw. The stories were not important to me, it was the fact I was using my imagination and could feel this simmering joy. I was tapping into a force, some call it Zen others the force of God, creating…whatever it was, I was at peace in the world in my little corner on top of the landing.
For many years I followed the paths that other writers made. Like Kerouac I joined the Navy and worked as a merchant marine. I was also a house painter, construction worker, farm hand. I had some short stories published and poetry. But I was avoiding the practicality life. Being responsible for my actions, my savings, pursuing a college degree and finding a career were not acceptable. I was the grand escape artist who wanted to live many lives, experience the rush of life and barely survive; I wanted to suffer for my art until a friend told me life should not be about suffering. After years of running I realized I was lost.
Life blesses us, we adapt to our struggles and surroundings. I settled down, married a beautiful articulate woman and we began to raise our children on shared principles like respect and love. My writing eventually drifted back to the weekends and only when the chores and bills were paid. If I was lucky I wrote for a few hours on Saturday. The more children we had the less time there was to write. With four children, my passion to write was transferred to watching my loves become amazing individuals.
When my hours changed at work and I was frequently late. My boss suggested leaving the house earlier, but I was already on the road for an hour and a half each way. I could leave at 6:45 to start at 9…but he also suggested looking into the train. What a great suggestion. Commuting was a blessing. I discovered the lost time and could use the ride to write. One night while on the train I was alone in the cabin and realized anyone could take me out and there would be no witnesses. That moment was the inspiration for Killer Commute. I don’t complain if the fares go up or if there are delays. The train has salvaged my simmering joy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What Gives? The Clinton Tapes

Hey what gives? There were no entries in November? It’s Friday and I’m on the train about to pull out of Huntington. I’ve been reading The Clinton Tapes, but overall it’s too compact for the historical events, it almost seems as if each paragraph touches on something of importance. What’s disturbing is Clinton’s rationale for asking Taylor Branch for his opinions, Haiti for example, becoming almost a mediator between Clinton and Aristide? From the sound of it, Branch had the idea for Hillary’s first book? The overall access Taylor Branch and his family had to the President is surprising. Let me clarify his meetings were planned in advance for when Clinton had an opportunity to discuss recent events. But I’m left with the feeling President Clinton had time on his hands. Not only to conduct the “secret” interviews and playing cards and reading, watching movies, Clinton did not care for Pulp Fiction. We’re given an insider’s perspective of the lives of the first family. From eating breakfast in their robes, to doing homework with Chelsea, life continues as it normally would. And in contrast we have history, the relations with Russia, Bosnia, England, but I’m just skimming the service. As I’m writing this, I realize, I’m enjoying this book…

Brian Blade blesses The Jazz Standard

11/20/2017 14:25 For those of you who have not seen Brian Blade, I strongly recommend blessing your eyes and ears to see this m...