There’s WAY too much going on in my life on a personal level right now. The game of backgammon has started, and there is only dark and light. I have far too much respect for people involved to go about trashing them in a public forum right now, but let us just simply identify my personal situation right now as “The Game” from now on…because that’s what it is. And the less said or written about it to anyone (except my Shrink and Therapist) the better. So, that’s yet another reason why I have not written for a while in this, possibly the worst year of my life. Just add it to the list.
Last night I watched for the third time “Dreams With Sharp Teeth”, an outstanding documentary about the life and career of my favorite WRITER, Harlan Ellison. Not a writer of Science Fiction, nor Horror, nor observations of the human condition both within an essay format or a short story yet all of the above. He’s won more awards than I’m quite frankly too tired to list, so Wiki and then get into more extensive research on your own. He’s written memorable television scripts including what is considered to be the best Star Trek episode ever, “The City On The Edge Of Forever”. This man is a WRITER. He is known to many, and known to few. He just simply IS. And “is” being an outstanding writer of incredible talent, one who MUST write who MUST create.
He is also my favorite writer.
There are times that I look at my sentence structure and realize that it may look a bit like Ellison’s, sound a bit like Ellison’s…hell, the idea/plot may be something Ellison would do. But it is most decidedly NOT Ellison’s. The man is one of a kind; and yet, every time I read his material or read something about his rather controversial life…it moves me forward. It MAKES me want to write. He is the kind of writer I would love to be; just churning out page after page after page and coming straight from the soul. I can do that. I have no problem writing 3-5,000 words in a sitting, and it might even be pretty good. But I need something to (forgive me here Frank Herbert) “set my mind in motion”. For quite a while, that has not been the case. Now, I have so much shit happening in my life that any vice I had wouldn’t even take care of things and make me forget nor feel any better. So all I am armed with is this keyboard, and a mind, and a will and a desire to be a WRITER. Influenced by Ellison? Absolutely. Like Ellison? No fucking way; and if someone ever paid me that compliment I would say they were fucking bananas. Except of course, if it came from Ellison. Before I even get allowed to buy a ticket to the ball park let alone be inside it, I need to get back to the craft and the regularity of what I was doing up to about a year ago when all hell started breaking loose. And this year, dear God, this year has been awful.
They always say write what you know about, and I could write about the past six months in great detail, and perhaps with a sense of irony and humor. Perhaps with a sense of grace and purpose. And somehow, how it all ties into this complex character of a man who I am. But I have to be a WRITER first.
And that my friends, is what I shall be. Expect me, when you see me.
“You must stay drunk on writing so that reality does not kill you.” – Ray Bradbury