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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Fictimentary

I'm not going to lie.

I lost the will to write some time ago. Because what inspires me most to write is what I see around me. And for a few years I didn't like what I saw.

And then it happened: I got robbed. My computer was stolen, and with it just about every word I ever penned, whether it be a poem, short story, memoir, crime novel, screen play or lyrical essay was gone.

Everything was gone.

Poof.

I've sat in this dead calm of my own literary absence for almost a year now.

Enough is enough.

Slowly, I've forced myself to write again. Mostly blog posts about parenting, but I've also begun to contribute more to my day job with liberal doses of my own beer journalism (instead of merely editing everybody else's musings on craft beer).

Two important things recently happened that have helped dig me out of my self-imposed sabbatical on writing. First, was that I read a book called The Cut by one of my favorite authors George Pelecanos. His writing is good; he crafts a nice crime novel. But what draws me in most to his writing is the locale. All of Pelecanos' books are set in the metro DC area - the area of my youth. Secondly, I read an essay in the Oxford American called "Diary of a Fact Checker."

I should probably toss a third in there, a recent dad blog about people who blog not for money or fame but simply just to blog.

I am one of those. Suffice it to say, I have been blogging since before the dawn of blogs. Back then it was called a journal, of which I kept fairly religiously during the four years I spent in Los Angeles in the early '90s.

And it occurred to me that I had a copy of that journal somewhere. Because there were no "clouds" to back stuff up on back then, just cheesy discs that nobody trusted anyway. So the best way to save your work was to print it out.

I found it tucked under my bed in a dusty box. At one point, I had tried to turn my journal into a manuscript. I described it in the opening pages as "fictimentary": I was ensconced in watching documentary films at the time. I saw a "behinds the scenes" type program on the classic Nanook of the North. It explained how the director - Robert J. Flaherty - had taken creative liberties to make the movie. In other words, he had staged some scenes.

I decided I would do the same with my journal. To use the story of my life as a rough
backdrop for a larger fictionalized story. This would be ten years before James Frey would deliver an almost-unfactchecked "fictionalized" autobiography.

Look for some excerpts in the near future...





1 comment:

Always Home and Uncool said...

Looking forward to it.