Thursday, October 21, 2010


     I’m exhausted.  Hallucinogenic dreams powered by too much hot red pepper, my first night home is an hour of sleep here, an hour there, strange dreams of boats and large urinals, unable to punch keys on a calculator, all courtesy of a missed pour of pepper from a shaker after I’d made dinner at home and then I’m up all night.  Six nights on the road feels like a year, a month, whatever, but I’m back and going through the damage like a forensic librarian searching for clues in the book-bin-dumpster.  It was non-stop, overwhelming, intense, fun, and most of all it offered a glimpse of writers on the publicity stump telling tales of lonely beginnings when they changed careers from media office camaraderie to the solitary confinement of sitting at a keyboard punching up bad-guy stories. 
     The lobby bar was a scene, and I hung with a couple of writers and got their business cards.  Listened to the rich and famous tell about their lives when they weren’t so rich and famous.  Hard to tell which life they’d rather live, if you saw Michael Connelly gritting his teeth through an uncomfortable interview with Gregg Hurwitz.  Witty stories, quick quips--funny, funnier and funniest--and they all said keep on writing, keep on plugging, it ain’t easy but somebody’s got to do it.  Or more like it, somebody’s going to do it, and it might as well be ‘you’. 
     Aside from the big names, the people who I met and talked with mostly were second level writers who struggle on a daily basis to find time to write and balance work and careers with writing.  They’re published, they have agents, their books were on display.  Some were on panels I attended.  
     Clearly, I have a ways to go to get in the door, but I’m making progress.  I can at least see the door.  
     I was an outsider this week, but I know my way to the party.    
     I need an agent.  
     I need a better chair in my office.  
     My writing is taking shape, and the processes that the big names use aren’t much different than my own.  
     Lot of fucking hard work.  
     Discipline, endless discipline.  


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