Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This past week there were two people who asked me pointed questions about writing.  And, since it's been awhile since I answered these and other pressing concerns, let me address them one at a time.

How do you find time to write?
I make time to write.  A person trying to "find" time to write will never find it.  Toward that end, I've discovered that it helps to rise long before the birds begin to chirp.  Likewise, I write in the gaps (always carry a pen and paper boys'n girls), and yes, I actually do compose some writing while I drive, but most of these travel pieces tend to be about stop signs, or road kill, or running from the cops.  Sometimes I compose during my sleep and write these pieces down as soon as I rise, but these instances are rare, and most of this writing turns out to be gibberish.

How much do you get paid for your writing?
I ask my agent to command a million dollars for a major project (book, screenplay, etc.) but my average pay per project is $7.83. I prefer Wendy's value menu to McDonalds and, for some of my poems, I also get valuable coupons that can be redeemed at participating Exxon stations.

What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on a memoir, several short stories, scads of poems, and a mountain of essays of such eclectic variety that I would be hardpressed to tell you about them all.  Next week I will begin writing a cookbook based entirely on protein shake recipes that one can create from discarded items around the house and I hope to complete a book about marriage by year's end that is to be entitled:  Eleven Cleaning Tips to Keep Your Wife Motivated and Encouraged on Saturday Mornings When You Finally Get to Talk to Her (And Why It's Just Talk and Nothing More)

Do you really have a rotten marriage or are you just joking?
The marriage is great . . . it's me who is rotten.  From my perspective, everything is fine.  But you'll have to ask my wife what all the screaming is about.  I do write love poems, but I usually tell the editors who publish them that I am writing them to a lonely woman in Topeka, Kansas. These editors feel sorry for me and send me small checks that, usually, I must cash within 24-hours.  My wife loves me for my ability to bring home the bacon, and I just brought some hickory smoked home last night and plan to fry it this morning.

Who were some of your early writing influences?
Well, I influenced myself quite a bit when I was young, often grabbing myself by the seat of the pants and forcing myself to write. I also had conversations with myself at dinner, which forced my parents to relegate me to the front porch during meals.  Writing is a solitary affair, as I can attest, and I agree with my last statement.

Have you ever lost your marbles?
As I write this response I am actually looking at my marbles right now.  They are sitting atop a shelf in the kitchen.  I am also looking at my appendix and tonsils, which are each in their respective jars next to it, and at a slice of petrified toast bearing the image of St. Ignatius of Loyola that I inherited from my grandmother.  I count my marbles daily and have not lost a single one since I was married in 1984.  Sometimes, however, my wife's marbles get intermingled with my marbles and we have to sort things out.  My jar has the larger marbles.


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