Sunday, January 10, 2010

ya wanna write? (4.1)

Okay. Back to the fourth bullet. But I'm still in a bad mood. The whole Arizona experience (minus the bookstore gig, which was great), coupled with the fact that Drew tends to overly personalize irate comments from insulated shut-ins with laptops, was a big letdown.

I know. Hard to imagine Arizona not living up to what one would expect. Hey... am I allowed to say that -- even if I confess that I have lots of family here? Will the entire State of Arizona leave comments on my blog?

You are stupid, and here's my website where you can buy Viagra -- signed, Sedona.

Not all YA is about vampires. You are stupid. I read a book, one time, about a boy and a dragon, and there weren't vampires in it. So there, dumb stupid dummy. -- signed, Flagstaff.

I'm goin' kick yo ass -- signed, The Grand Canyon.

But I will save it all. And one day, I will write about some of this in a story.

I told myself things like that a lot of times when I was growing up. I held onto things, and I knew that one day I could exact a cruel and scathing revenge by writing about them.

Like the time a sheriff's deputy got all up in my face, threatening to take me to jail, because I'd caught his son burglarizing a neighbor's house. Yep, if you're one of, like, the twelve people out there who's read Ghost Medicine, that confrontation between the deputy and Troy Stotts, the main character, was nearly a word-for-word replay of something that happened -- pretty much exactly like that -- to me.

And I always told myself I'd write a story about taking a road trip with a life-size tin statue of Don Quixote, too. Because I really did that, as well (that's from in the path of falling objects).

And I'm nowhere near purging my head of all these things I've been saving up, either. This should probably make some of the people who've known me cringe.

Like the three cowboy-hat-wearing-Bud-Lite-drinking-open-casting-call-for-Marlboro-Man-2010:-The-Movie dudes who were going to KILL Drew on Friday night.


In Arizona.

Drew gets me in trouble a lot.

One last thing that kind of digresses from the fourth bullet, kid, but it's a fitting addition to this series. I've said this on my blog before, too, but I figure there still might be three or four people out there who haven't gotten pissed off at me, yet... so I'm going to shoot the moon.

Yesterday, at the bookstore gig, they asked every author (um... except me. I get skipped over a lot. I think, at times, I do have invisibility powers, although the only way I've devised to test them would probably get me arrested. Not to worry. I'll write about it one day)... yeah, EVERY AUTHOR, except for Drew, to give advice to young people who aspired to write. One author, predictably enough (who was NOT named Drew, because Drew was the only author who wasn't asked) blabbered out something I hear writers say over and over and over again. They say it so much that I don't think a lot of them really know what it means. They say it like speaking in tongues, like it's an automatic reflex -- a sneeze, a burp, that all writers (except Drew, who was NOT ASKED) regurgitate autonomically. This is the saying:

You have to have a thick skin.

That's deeply creepy, in a Hannibal Lecteresque way.

It rubs the concrete on its skin.

And this is also a fitting conclusion to bullet four, considering the battering Drew's psyche has endured these past three days.


A thick skin is exactly the opposite of what you need to be a good writer. You NEED to feel everything, let it get inside you, swim around in your soul, eat you, tear at you, elevate you, and placate you -- or else everything you write about will be untrue, or just the black, scabby discs of flattened chewing gum you can pry off your concrete exoskeleton.

Coming up, the fifth bullet.