Okay, Blogger. I should've done this a long time ago. Now it's just you, me, my $20 briar loaded with custom blend tobaccy from the Tinder Box, and a glass of Bailey's on the rocks.
Seriously--I have a pretty vast collection of pipes, including some meerschaums worth hundreds of dollars--and this $20 briar I bought about 11 or 12 years ago (maybe even more) is the best smoker I've got.
But that's beside the point.
I've been in a dry spell as far as writing goes over the past, well, two years--let's be honest. I could make all kinds of excuses for it, but why bother? I've been in a dry spell. I've tried to write something daily and usually succeed on some level, but it's generally crap. Somewhere around five years back, my lovely wife Julie (who then was my lovely girlfriend Julie) bought me a writer's amulet, which is a beautiful piece of Celtic artwork with an invocation to the angel Raphael on the back. I lost it sometime before we moved to our house. Well, last week I found it. And started wearing it.
And it has been nagging at me to start again.
Hot damn, I think to myself, this thing works.
In any case, here I am. Hopefully this upcoming series of blogs will be more insightful and less angst-ridden than those I've written recently. I'm starting to sound like a 16-year-old Emo kid, and that's just not cool at my age. So instead of wondering why things suck so much, I thought I'd take a look back and see how I got here. Not in a bad way, but just re-examine my life, the moments that stick out in my mind. Some of them will be painful to write. Some will be painful for others to read. But you know what? A writer has to be fearless. It's the number one thing you've got to have.
"What inspired me to write this series," you ask? Okay, I know, you could probably care less, but I'm going to tell you anyway. I'm going to tell you because I have the microphone, as it were, and in the end, I'm doing this for me more than anyone else. Maybe someday I'll collect it all together and publish a memoir that nobody will want to read. I'll get an ISBN number and everything.
Also, you should expect me to digress a lot during these little exegeses on life.
I have been feeling nostalgic recently. And by "recently," I mean over the past decade or so. But more recently than that, over the past week or two, I've begun thinking of things I have watched and read that really on some level resonated with me. The one thing that really stuck with me and kept coming back was the webcomic Queen of Wands, by a lovely woman who goes by the name Aiere. This comic, while it did have some wildly funny moments, was not a comedy-based strip. Rather, it was a pretty damned insightful story about a bunch of people, as Aiere describes it, in that place between graduating from college and realizing you have no idea what you want to do with your life.
Unfortunately for me, I kind of got stuck in that place. Actually, they only thing that's unfortunate about it is that other people about whom I care didn't get stuck there with me--because honestly it can be a fun place to be. You spend a lot of time really reflecting on things, and it's good to be reflective. You refuse to let go of the childish things you loved when you were a kid. Really, why should we have to let them go? You know, it was C.S. Lewis who said that when he became a man he realized it was time to put away childish things...but people tend to forget the rest of that quote. The rest of it is, "including the fear of being childish."
Toys rock. Comics rock. Games rock. Why should we stop appreciating these things just because we got older? We shouldn't. We should revel in them.
Which brings me back to QoW. The main character, Kestrel, really revels in her love of comics and toys. She's reflective and loves to sit in cafes reading a book--often Alice in Wonderland or some other young person's fantasy novel. She's passionate, hot-tempered, sarcastic and opinionated...she's pretty much me, only with red hair and breasts. I could relate on a very deep level with everything Kestrel goes through in that strip. The other characters are equally realistic and well-realized. Nobody in that strip is two-dimensional, and all of the problems are as real as real can be. It's comforting to read it. Seriously. If you have not read QoW, you should go there, skip to the beginning, and read that thing. It's amazing on every level...and yes, the artwork starts off somewhat amateurish, but it very quickly gets wildly better. By the end of the comic's run, she's well on par with any cartoonist out there. In my opinion.
So as I've been re-reading the archives (and Aiere, if you should by some strange chance hear about this blog and take a look, I'd pay good money for a bound collection), I've begun thinking about my own life some. So it was, I was sitting at home this afternoon after work, and my amulet started pulling me upstairs. Seriously, it was quite insistent. "You, sir," it said, "are going to write something tonight, and it's not going to be fiction. But it's going to be worth writing."
So I grabbed my pipe, packed it up, poured a glass of Bailey's, and we have come full circle.
There you have it, Faithful Readers. I hope that you remain Faithful Readers throughout these diatribes. I hope you enjoy this peek into my life. And I hope that you maybe even bring a few others along with the ride. If you relate to what I have to say, to what I've been through--and really, I think my life is rather mundane, overall--then fantastic! I thrive on comments on these things. It lets me know I'm not screaming into the void. If you do not relate, if you disagree, or if you are offended by what I say, then I politely invite you to piss off and read something else. I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing it for myself, and for those who might appreciate what I've got to say. I don't pretend to be anyone important or to have anything really profound as far as insights into the nature of life and death, but this is my forum and I'm going to use it.
That's that. Enjoy.
Go on to next part