The Things Of A Life

It sounds stupid, but I’m struggling with what to write.

Oh, not just here on the blog, but in general.

It’s not that I’ve lost my vision or focus. Rather it’s that I’ve lost…well…habit.  Look, like most writers, I’m a creature of habit. I need a place to go have coffee…and to write.  I need a taproom to go drink beer…and to write.

Okay, let’s be honest: most writers have a strong relationship with obsession, and with the compulsiveness that so often rides shotgun with that.  For me, that means I need to get into a rhythm in order to really write.

What I don’t need is…what I have right now.  What I have right now ain’t workin’.

Over lunch a friend and I talked about this.  Now, I didn’t phrase my side to be bitching about writing in general, I phrased it as bitching about coming up with posts for this blog…

Err, sorry for using you as a dodge.

Anyway, my friend threw a suggestion at me.  Now, when I first considered his thought — and even in the hours after — I dismissed his suggestions.  “Nope, no one wants to read that.  I’ve tried shit like that, and the numbers of reads and likes went through the floor,” I replied.

“Wait…how much do you get paid from your blog?”


“Exactly.  Fuck the reads and likes, and any of the other zero dollar metrics you talk about.  Just write what you want.”


I’m struggling with what to write — especially since you couldn’t bribe, threaten or otherwise cajole me into writing another freaking word about Trump and where he is taking this country.  Nope.  So, instead…my friend’s idea…

“You’ve travelled the world, right?  You’ve pretty much done everything?”

Err…yeah.  I have.

“Write that, you fuckin’ moron.”

I thought about what that looks like.  Now, my experiences — the things I’ve seen and done — are freaking everywhere in the fiction I write.  I can’t be ME and not write about them…

—That night, at 2:00 am outside a convenience store in Arizona, when the hooker was on the pay phone while her two or three year old daughter clung to her leg…

—That roma woman who read my palm, then literally cursed me because I didn’t have any euros to give her…

—That time I almost got arrested because I’m an obsessive idiot…

—That time I got passed-out drunk on a Royal Navy destroyer…

—The thirty seconds I spent standing inside a gas chamber at Auschwitz…

—The time I watched a wolf pack spend twelve hours taking down a bison…

But none of that is what I should write about, I decided.  Nope.  Firstly, I’ve written about most of that on this blog before.  And secondly…none of that defines, well, me.

Oh, it shaped me…it meant a ton to me…but the heart and emotion of it?

Yeah, it is those experiences that I haven’t yet talked about that I need to use here.

This is going to be a series of posts, by the way.  I have to organize the damned thing somehow, and doing 2-3 posts makes the most sense to me.  So, here comes the first of those…

This first post is going to be the top memories my parents (and their generation) will hate.  Sorry, Mom and Dad.

Oh, wait…a rule!  Hit play on the song I have listed here.  Don’t worry about the video, just listen to the song as you read. It not only is one I absolutely love, it is what I am listening to as I write this):

5) Stevie Ray Vaughn in concert at Huntington Beach, CA — Sting and Phil Collins came on to play two songs with him.  I cried…it was that freaking magical.

4). Phish in concert at Loring Air Force Base — at the time, the base had been freshly closed.  Over the several days of the concert, it became the largest “city” in Maine.

3)  A nameless rave in Berlin — in some random warehouse set-up for an underground event, it marks the first time I ever tried ecstasy.  If you’ve read my story “A Night Like This”…well…yep, there you have the genesis…

2)  (Kinda) Breaking into St Peters Basilica — very literally, I ran over a priest while viewing the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  It turns out the priest was (a) American, and (b) newly working at the Vatican.  When I told him that I was lighting candles for my sister in every cathedral I came to, he let me into a side chapel in St freaking Peter’s freaking Basilica to light a candle.  I still miss you, Sally.

1)  (Really) Breaking into the Colosseum — staying in Rome for the first time in my life, I had toured everything,  Except the Colosseum.  That was closed because there was a concert that weekend.  Paul fucking McCartney had decided to make me wait to view the damned thing!  Nope. Along with a few others, I…uhh…toured the place “after hours”.  I was quite literally standing in the middle of that partial floor, trying to imagine what it felt like with everyone staring at you, when the flood lights kicked on and the cops started yelling.  I was faster, then.

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