Dad

I was in my teens when I became aware that my father and I could actually be friends. And it was all because of the Disney afternoon cartoon Talespin. 

I don’t remember every detail, like if the tide was ebbing or flooding or what time of day it was. I do remember it was late summer according to the weather, early autumn according to the calander, and we were fishing for any fish that would eat a live shrimp in that particular creek on that particular day and there weren’t a whole lot takers.

My old man and I were going through kind of a quiet patch at that time mainly due to me wanting to spend most of my free time hanging out with my friends, or really doing anything else, instead of going fishing with him. It wasn’t as if I didn’t like to go fishing, it was just hanging out with your dad was kind of lame and I thought I had an image to keep up (many years later I realized I was the only person that I knew that thought I was cool and believed I had any kind of “image”).

So there we were sitting silently alone in an anchored boat waiting for a fish to bite when my father, beer in hand, cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth, turned to me, scratched his chin through his beard, and decided it was a good time to start a conversation. “Hey… Um… School? How’s that going for you?”

“Fine.”

A few minutes later with no sounds but the breeze blowing across the deck and the cry of the occasional seagull, “Grades?”

“So far so good.”

“Girlfriend?”

“You know I don’t.”

“Y-yeah,” more beard scratching and beer sipping. “So… You ever watch that cartoon Talespin?”

“I guess sometimes if it’s on,” I said in the most noncommittal way I could while knowing full well he knew I watched it almost religiously and didn’t want anyone to know I still watched cartoons.

“Yeah, I like it. Good show.”

“Yup,” I started fiddling with my rod trying to look too busy for the conversation he was insisting on trying to have.

“You know what I wonder?”

“No… What do you wonder?” He probably actually heard my eyes roll as I asked.

“If Baloo’s ever going to get around to fucking his boss, ’cause for a cartoon fox… I mean, shit man, I’d fuck her.”

We haven’t had trouble finding things to talk about since.

 

Writing Something Every Day

I know it’s something I should do but some days I just want to spend my free time mindlessly playing computer games.

Though when I turn on the computer and begin to run the game I want to play it lets me know immediately how many hours of my life I’ve played it.

At this point, around 600.

600 hours.

That’s 25 full days of my life.

The tangible things I could have accomplished during that time…

I kind of want to list them all.

But what I really want to do is finish this so I can play my game.

Because then I can say I wrote something today.

And I should write something everyday.

Being An Expert

Way back in a far corner of an outdoor retail establishment located on the edge of a large, but not quite huge, southern US city there’s a small glass case with a handful of fly reels, a couple of racks of fly rods, and one aisle of fur, feathers, beads, hooks, and other assorted materials used to tie flies with.

This is where I work part-time.

My official title is Fly Fishing Outfitter. As it happens I’m the only person in this particular store with that title and am considered by most of the other employees as a fly fishing “expert”. The reason I put expert in quotations is that when you happen to be the only fly fisherman somewhere, being venerated as some kind of feather flinging guru isn’t all that difficult to do. I’m not saying I don’t know my shit when it comes to the sport, but expert really implies quite a lot.

Currently at this point in my life my schedule is as follows: on the weekdays I wake up at 6am to start getting my three children ready for school; I have them all dropped off at each of their distinct and geographically diverse schools by 8am; I come back home and find something to do (usually some sort of chore) until around 9:45am; I go pick up my youngest child who is four and is in what the school calls, for some reason, a “half-day” program though it only last for a little over two hours; he and I either come back home to do chores or stay out to run errands; 12ish, we have lunch;  I do more chores, which are usually just redoing earlier chores that my four-year old hellbeast has un-chored; 2:30pm-ish I start the process of gathering my other two children; I come back home, try to cook some sort dinner that won’t be too gross if not eaten while hot, and rush to get ready for work; anywhere between 3:45pm and 4pm my wife gets home in time for brief kiss as I run out the door; 4:30pm I clock in to work while simultaneously praying to a god that has obviously forsaken me that I’m able to spend my working hours actually dealing with and talking to fellow fly fishermen; 4:35pm-9pm I deal with a multitude of individuals whose favorite subjects are bass fishing, cat fishing, Trump, Budweiser, the second amendment, and NASCAR while maybe getting two or three people asking about fly fishing, one of which inevitably only wants to discuss the subject so he or she can disagree with every answer to every question they ask; after work I go home, maybe eat, and go to sleep. Weekends are touch different because I work two nine-hour shifts that can be scheduled anywhere between the times of 8:45am and 9:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

If you reread all of that you’ll notice fishing isn’t scheduled in anywhere. And like all things that take any amount of skill, practice is the only way to become truly proficient. This leaves me in a place where, on those rare occasions that I do get to go and do that in which I have been deemed an “expert”, I usually come home at the end of the day and am forced to answer how my outing went with noncommittal comments such as, “Oh you know, it’s just nice to get out…” all while dying a little on the inside.

So what I’m trying to say here is that I’m an expert in fly fishing theory. And this makes me sad.

 

#2

Rereading my post from yesterday I noticed exactly how negative I was being about my chances of becoming a professional writer. Now that I’m on the upswing from my morning coffee instead of the after lunch comedown I’m feeling much more positive about the whole idea.

Or at least less negative…

Let’s just say this morning I feel as if it could be a soft maybe.

So, going back to the hippy roots of my early 20’s I’m going to fake having a bright and positive outlook on things, this time not to try to increase my chances of getting laid after a Phish show, but to see if that whole “fake it ’til you make it” thing could work. Unlike it did earlier in my life. I usually remained woefully unlaid.

Anyway, here is a list of reasons I may be able to make it as a professional writer:

  1. Genetic Lottery Winner – I was born straight, white, and male in a first world country. The amount of advantages that gives me right out the gate is enough to make anyone not born a straight white male sick to their stomach just thinking about it. Like seriously… I’m sorry.
  2. I’m a Natural and Creative Story Teller – I think that’s what people are trying to express when they tell me how full of shit I am.
  3. I’m Well Traveled – …for growing up in a trailer in South Carolina.
  4. I’m Veracious Reader – So I know what a book is supposed to look like and that’s a plus.
  5. I Have An Unusual Name – According to the internet I’m the only recorded human that has ever existed on the planet with my particular name. I think that right there should give me some kind of advantage. Also why I avoid using my real name on the web.
  6. I Live With An Excellent Editor – My wife is mad smart. Also she has multiple degrees in the kinds of things that would land you a job as an editor.
  7. I Think Outside of the Box – Because of the Phish shows I mentioned above. If you don’t understand right away just think about it… Fine, I dropped acid a couple of times when I was younger. A week. A Couple of times a week. No permanent damage though.
  8. I Think Outside of the Box – Because of the Phish shows I mentioned above. If you don’t understand right away just think about it… Fine, I dropped acid a couple of times when I was younger. A week. A Couple of times a week. No permanent damage though.
  9. I Can Be Funny – Like numbers 7 and 8. Y’all see what I did there! Did you get it?!? It’s funny!
  10. I Enjoy Writing – So even if I never get paid to do it I’m still going to have a good time.

Yup. That about sums it up.

 

#1

So this is the deal: I’m a father of three boys, I’m married, I’m closing in on forty, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow-up… Or didn’t… or… well… I think I’d like to be writer.

Professionally.

As in a novelist.

Or essayist.

Or really anything where I might have the opportunity to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do (insert any hard, ‘honest labor’ here) today, I must be creative and write, FOR I AM AN AUTHOR AND THIS IS THE WAY I PAY MY RENT! AND BUY MY GROCERIES! …sorry for yelling. I’m very proud of my job.”

But as an adult with my particular outlook on the way life works (I’m a cynic y’all! Woooo!) I feel as if just deciding to be an author is sort of silly. Also I feel as if lots of heart and hard work sometimes brings you nothing but disappointment and frustration.

Like I said above, I’m a cynic.

So all that plus I have no real writing experience past a couple of old blogs, and I have no college education or have even taken a creative writing class of any kind, and I can’t spell and am incredibly shaky on rules of grammar, I feel as if this whole trying to be a writer thing is going to be an uphill battle for me.

Like extremely uphill.

Like vertical cliff uphill that’s possibly even leaning out a little towards the top.

All that being said, fuck it I’m going to try anyway.

This blog will be my practice space so if you read it expect many ramblings, pointless stories, odd styles, etc..

If you would like to comment, give advise, or offer creative criticism on anything I write please feel free to… Unless you’re planing on being a dick because this is going to be hard enough for me already.