You wouldn’t believe how I’ve been living lately; food has been a low priority. So has housekeeping; there are articles, magazines, newspaper clippings and related dementia strewn across my work area. Seems my books have been multiplying like rabbits too (although I have twelve thousand books, I still felt compelled to buy Stephen King’s Detective novel The Colorado Kid for two bucks at a yard sale) When I do eat I take impatient spoon-full’s of food, chew hastily and return to my computer; I’ve been subsisting on PB & J sandwiches and tea. The writing has taken over. I feel like a true bohemian lately.
It’s the book of course, isn’t it always? And the blogs, like this one. I think about them all day, then I come home and think about them some more, then whenever the synapses are firing correctly I dive in and try to get something down on the page before my famously wiggy short-term memory kicks in and wipes the slate clean. Sometimes I stew over an idea (usually at 5 AM or thereabouts) and get all excited and start wandering in circles, coffee in hand, searching for a pen or something to scribble a note on. Sometimes I get home and I have all these tiny slips of paper in my nap-sack, usually yellow post-it notes, filled with insane and inspired ideas. Some are good, some are shit. Most are shit. By the time I get home only the best notions are left in my head, but being on the move all day working, I fall victim to the usual human foibles; I need time for sleep, food, clothing (laundry) and to clean the apartment. Need to pay bills, run errands (Shopping! Haven’t done shopping all week!) and so the little amount of time I have, I dedicate to writing, but lately the time-balance has been skewed slightly; seems writing has taken up more and more of my time. I haven’t even watched TV since I got cable a month ago. And me, a movie buff, I have not once watched a film since I’ve moved in to this new place. This is definitely strange behavior for Senor Hunter, let me tell you.
A lot of the reason stems from this particular blog, The National Affairs Desk, and my two partners in literary crime, Joseph Lane and Matt Byron. Two more dedicated guys I could never have met. We’ve formed a kind of un-spoken (ironic?) and un-holy bond with each other. I’m trying to do my part, because I love to do it. And now I’ve gone and started another blog which will require more attention, and more maintenance, and yes, more writing.
It’s been fun, though. Every day I search through the papers and news reports for interesting angles, and I find I have a lot to say about nearly everything. But If I write down everything I think about the universe it’d dwarf a phone book, so instead you get snippets. I’m also in search of my voice; when you’re part of a repertory company like the NAD, you need to discover your own voice. Joseph Lane is the sane one (for the most part) Matt is the crazy Dean Moriarty of Kerouac’s fabled beat generation, and both are Hunter S. Thompson lovers. So where do I fit in? I don’t know. I love Edward Abbey, an elitist nature writer who had a foul mouth and a penchant for burning bill-boards along America’s highways because he thought they ruined the landscape and it’s aesthetic, plus he wanted to be buried in the desert (“...Disregard all state burial laws”, he states in his will). I love music, jazz in particular. I love writing. Simple when put in those easy terms, but I have complexities too. I couldn’t tell you about my voice; either I haven’t discovered it yet, or I have laryngitis.
So where was I? Oh yes; the writing. I am completely immersed in it. Although I am not a prolific author (I am too perfectionist for that) I have written more in the past three months then I ever have. I’ve beaten back that bastard known as Writer’s Block a few times now, and I’m getting the hang of writing every day, although sometimes the words come hard, and slow. The long and short of it is this; I’m a fucking writer, and I love it, and this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Hang the 9 to 5 job; I deny that’s the only way to live. Not for me anyway. This new dedication is a little scary to me; and friends, co-workers, they don’t understand. The term “Writer” is an abstraction to them. They probably envision a guy in a straight-jacket sitting behind an Underwood type-writer, ranting and drooling, but mostly they see the reality; bare cupboards and bare pockets. To this end they may be correct on both counts.
But GOD I love it so.
David Hunter, Over and Out.