Friday, January 27, 2012

First Draft, We're So Over.

Dear First,

It’s you.  Not me.  I just want that to be clear, in case you’re confused about this break up.

I went out into this world looking for something magical and honest and true, and I found you.  At the time, you were everything I was looking for, but I’m sad to say that I’ve grown since then.  I’ve changed.  But you wouldn’t.  You refused.  For a while, I thought it wouldn’t matter, that you'd be enough.  I had dreams of the perfect match, blinded by my love for you.  Those days were the best of our time together, when everything we did was magic. It was honest and true. 

Then the doubt seeped in.  You felt it, too, I know.  Our love faded, as did the newness of us.  I saw you with different eyes.  You, content for me to parade you into the world your flaws open and exposed as if you were proud of them, and me, seeing your potential inside that you refused to grasp. 

Maybe I wasn't being honest with you.  Or with myself, for that matter.  Maybe I wanted to change you all along and just wasn't able to admit that what we had going wasn't working like it should.  For that, I'm sorry.  That’s a relationship, I guess.  You never know what you truly want until you’re in one.

If I’m being honest, I’m glad we met.  I’m thankful for the time we had together.  For the things we discovered when our bond was strongest. 

We’ll always have 4am.

I learned a lot, thanks to you. I learned what worked for me and what didn’t.  Not to kick you when you’re down, but you’re unbelievably sloppy.  Even proud of it, I think.  I mean, seriously.  You’ve never once even bothered to fix yourself up.  Like you didn’t care about how you reflected on me.

I do.  I do care.  I know we were always about substance, but I’m sorry - in this world, appearances matter.  But I guess not to you.  And that’s okay. You are who you are.  You gotta be you. 

So, we’re over.  I’m moving on.  I’ve met someone, already.  Someone a lot like you, actually, but cleaner and with better manners and a better body.  It’s shallow, I know. 

Such is life.

You’ll always have a special place in my heart. For now, though, we must say goodbye. 

All the best,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


No, not that Twilight. 

It’s 4am. 

Early.  Way early.  Especially for me, a guy who digs his beauty sleep.  (Though, it hasn’t helped much thus far.)

Even better, it’s this early and I’m up.  Writing. 

Do you know what’s happening at 4am?

Jack squat.  For about three weeks now, I’ve been getting up before work and cranking out from four to six a solid one to two thousand words.  At least three days a week.  I’m averaging five thousand words of free words. 

Yeah.  Free.  The words come no matter how busy my day.  No matter how hectic my life is after work, or what social events hang in the balance.  When getting the nursery is ready, and all I’d rather do is piss off with a glass of whiskey and vegetate in front of the television. 

Five thousand words.  No matter what.

But really, this progress is just a symptom.  It’s an ailment to the greater infection.  The disease? 

Wanting it.  Ambition.  Desire. 

My goal since November has been to write professionally.    Not necessarily as a profession (I’ve yet to get paid for any of my words and baby needs a new pair of, well, frigging everything), but write in a way that respects the craft and respects the amount of hard work that it takes to get anything in this world.  Professionally.  Life will always be there, getting in the way, but if the need is great enough, you can make it happen.

Use the time you have.  All of it.  4am included.  And that’s my cheesedick advice for the morning.  I know.  It’s very Nike of me.  But seriously.  Wake up.  Go for it.  Follow your heart like a pro.  There’s nothing to lose at 4am.

Just do it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Over at YA HIGHWAY, this week’s Road Trip is a little more literal than past iterations.

The question is, Where is your dream writing retreat?

I think I’ve touched on this a little in past posts.  I’m one of those writers who believe that places inspire the writing – I mean, that’s the crux of INKROCK – so trust me when I say I’ve thought long and hard about where I’d go.  Also, considering its ninety eight year old founder George Whitman just passed away, a little tribute to what he gave to us is the least I could do.

Without hesitation, if given the opportunity, I would spend a month or two in Paris.  Specifically, the Latin Quarter, where I’d work, and even bunk for a while, at Shakespeare & Company, the little English bookstore just across from Notre Dame.  I’d drink wine, maybe even smoke a cigarette, and write in only the way one can write in Paris.

It’s the history, you see?

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein.  The list goes on.  In their day, they all frequented that store.  In many respects, they still do.  Ernest Hemingway even goes to some length about what a resource it was to him in A Movable Feast.

Shakespeare & Company is just one of those places, you know?  It is literature.  It is prose.  They embrace it and they pride themselves on supporting the art of the word. 

If you’re a broke writer in Paris, they’ll put you up for free, provided that you work a shift or two.  Heck, when you’re there, maybe we can share a bottle of red and talk about the world.