Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wherever I May Roam...


Everyone has that one friend who always seems to be moving to a new apartment, right? He’s the guy who, every six months, without regard for his best friends’ vertebral integrity, packs up all his shit and relocates. Well, among my circle of friends, that asshole is me. Like the Beach Boys promiscuously said, I get around. And, as a writer, that’s pretty cool. Because even though all my pals now have debilitating hernias, I’ve lived in a diverse range of places, and it’s done wonders for my writing career. From the building where the drunk guy who slept regularly on the lawn to the dorm room next door to a gay nymphomaniac, each place has left its unique mark on my literary endeavors.

Even though I was in school when I started writing, the place I wrote my first manuscript was not my college dorm room. And it wasn’t just because of the pillow-biting yowls of delight coming from the neighbor’s room. It was because I loved the outdoors. So I scribbled my first script longhand on a legal pad in an outdoor amphitheater. And it was there that I befriended Marbles, the squirrel with elephantine testicles. 

In exchange for stolen bananas from the cafeteria, Marbles taught me that if I was ever going to succeed in the stark, painful industry of publishing, I would need to proudly display my testicular fortitude…without getting an Indecent Exposure citation, of course.
 
After college, I moved into a Denver high-rise apartment I couldn’t afford, with a girlfriend I (eventually) couldn’t stand. The place was sweet, but was so tiny that I had to step outside just to change my mind. It didn’t have an office, but it did have a perfectly good laundry closet. 

Both my chair and my desk were of the folding variety. And despite the gymnastics required to get into and out of my “office,” and the fact that the underwear drawer was my armrest, I cranked out about forty short stories and my first Fantasy novel in there.

The next place worth mentioning was a few years ago, when I was in grad school. I lived in a house with a young couple, whose shouts could be heard incessantly through the paper-thin bedroom wall we shared. I never could tell whether they were fighting, fucking, or murdering cocker spaniels. But living with terrible roommates taught me a valuable lesson:

There, in my tiniest bedroom to date, I consumed mass amounts of Tanqueray and beer, and learned the glorious joy of writing puerile, juvenile humor. It was also the first time Bryan and I wrote a complete novel together.
Shortly after that I moved to Chicago, to fulfill my lifelong dream of having a girlfriend. And despite being in the mold-ridden garden level, it was a cozy little place. Even the funky egg smell went away after the nice man from the gas company came to fix all those old leaky meters in my bedroom. But it was the neighborhood, not the apartment, which gave me so much inspiration. Whether it was the hundred screaming children at the local urban water park outside my window…

Or the occasional neighborhood bonfire…

…There was an endless supply of story ideas just waiting to be plucked, bagged up, and sold by the ounce, like those nice, young hoodlum dropouts urban entrepreneurs so often did on the street corner. Naturally, it was here that this blog was born, one hot-waterless day as I was trying to warm myself up with a frosty beer in the shower. It’s also where I wrote my parts of The Missing Link. By the way, TML just finished a 5-day free promotional thingie on Amazon, and was downloaded over 15,000 times.

Cheers!

-Brandon

Music: Manchester Orchestra
Beer: Fat Tire

Addendum to post as of 2:38 MST...Our novel, The Missing Link, is now in the top 100 bestsellers of three separate PAID genres on Amazon.com! Cheers mo-fos!

68 comments:

  1. Whoa, 15,000 times?! That is AMAZING! Congrats!

    As for apartment living, this feels especially relevant to me today because i MAY have found my new apartment yesterday... (dun dun da dun)

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  2. Congratulations on TML hit.
    Your marbles looks like one of those mutant squirrels from nuclear power plant. About filthy,creepy, loud roommates - been there :)
    Size of your apartment does determine your happy life and directly proportionally to the days of being married or days before divorce.
    Good luck for new chapter in Denver.

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  3. Wow, 15,000 times!?! That's great! And to think, I was on the bandwagon back when you had to pay for it.
    I too am the hated ever-mover. I find it helps dodge creditors, exes, and neighbors I may or may not have alienated by smearing poo on their door in drunken manic episodes.

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  4. Congratulations on the downloads and me and Ray have a mate who regularly moved for a while with no regard for our ageing vertebrae and hernias..the bollox!

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  5. Your old office is pretty much my set up. I sit at the end of my bed as a chair which is near an old stand where my computer rests. I also use a fold up table for the keyboard.

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  6. Love, LOve you stories. You've lived in far more interesting places than I. And wow, what balls! On the squirrel that is. Congrats on the 15,000 hits.

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  7. Moved a lot. always up for the next adventure. "If you can't kill 'em, satirize 'em.' Good idea. I just might have to try that. Hah!

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  8. Sweet, I remember renovating a closet or two for the purpose of having a computer desk space...it also doubled as a hideaway from kids...

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  9. lol oh man u lived next to a gay nymphomaniac. that sure sounds like hell. i dont even wanna imagine the gay screams. also nice office. i should post a pic of my office. its not as cozy. and fuck yea car fire. murrica!

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  10. That is an amazing amount of downloads...even if they were free. lol. People are out there reading your writing, right now! How awesome. It was a great book so they'll be thrilled they downloaded it.

    I need to move around more and live in shady shitty places, apparently. I figured out why all my writing blows...I live too cushy a life. Ugh. Alright...

    *throws all my shit out my condo window and starts fresh.*

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  11. ah moving out with a GF. Been there. Done that my friend.

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  12. Congrats on the book downloads. That's a LOT of readers! I've moved around a lot too and I have to say I enjoy it. Opens up new perceptions and all that jazz.

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  13. I used to be a pool manager during the summer which means I hung out by the pool for 10 hours a day not doing anything and for the most part no one ever came to the pool. Except my friend Bob the squirrel. He'd nibble on my uneaten Wendy's burgers and cheese biscuits and any thing else that I may have for lunch. He was a good friend. He's all I spoke to all day.

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  14. Unfortunately, I've never owned a place aside from sharing a college dorm with 5 other roomates. I'm in the process of saving up. Hopefully, I can someday ruin a roomates financial stability by moviing without any notice. For the time being, I'll have to stick with my landlord (my mom).

    And, congrats on all those downloads! Again, once I get a kindle or something I'm gonna download it.

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  15. Sheesh! The size of your first writer's closet made me feel claustrophobic just looking at it!

    You touched on an important point. You have to actually get off your booty and do things to have things to write about it. I've learned that one the hard way.

    And dude...join a church. All the free moving help you could want.

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  16. Isn't it crazy where inspiration can come from?

    Well done darlin'. Well done.

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  17. Wow, 15k is HUGE!

    And I know what you mean about the inspiration via environment thing. As you already know...

    For the ripping off, make sure your story rips off more than one, then mash them up. I'm reading the Hunger Games trilogy right now, and I swear it's a mashup of Twilight and Running Man...

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  18. All I can say is that the elephantine balls were way too awesome to believe. All guys, whatever animal classification they are part of, should have them like that.

    I love the idea of living in different places. Change of scene is great - but the actual moving part... ugh! Not fun! Of course, it's a chance to get rid of your collection of worthless items, so that's always good.

    Congrats on the billions of downloads!

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  19. Congrats on all the book downloads, that is an amazing amount.

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  20. Glad to hear you can turn the bad into good!

    And 15,000 times?! Wow! Congradulations!

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  21. Congratulations to all of the book downloads!

    And I can relate to what you say when traveling inspires you to write. I'm in the middle of writing my first novel (well, I call it my first, anyway) and it has France as a backdrop.

    I had to crack up at Marbles. I sometimes feature a Ninja Squirrel cartoon in my posts, but I don't think even he could deal with Marble's overt masculinity.

    -Barb the French Bean

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  22. 15,000 times... is that a fact? ohh I admit it. It was me. I've always been a sucker for free downloads. Of course, now I will have to use that promotional thingie 15,000 times, thank you very much, fellas.

    P.S. This is on a NO need to know basis, but I always get inspired when I'm in the men's room. I mean, seriously. Of course there's never a pad around when you need one and my memory is like Swiss cheese, so I end up using my toilet paper. I tell you, if I ever become a famous writer, I'm afraid I've flushed my first draft down the drain...

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  23. For every friend that is a constant mover, there's a friend that doesn't move (I am that friend). I hate moving; it's so much work to find a place, pack up all my shit, move it, unpack it and then reorganize because it turns out I didn't put things in the right spot... ugh... just thinking about it makes me tired.

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  24. I didn't even know you had a book! I just bought it and, get this...it's on my Kindle Cloud Reader...whatever the hell that is...I don't own a Kindle but I must own a cloud. Check me out!!

    Congrats guys!

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  25. Okay, while everyone else is praising your book stats - yea you - I just have to say:

    I have never tried "Tanqueray and beer" - sounds kind of gross. I did get to have my Dogfish Head out on my deck last night before the sun went down. I was afraid I'd miss it, because clouds were looming.

    Also, Chicago rocks. Are you still there? I assume you are not in the moldy garden apartment anymore.

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  26. 15k of sweet sweet free give away....

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  27. I'm also the asshole that moves all the time. But I am vowing to stay in my apartment until I graduate (two more years!). It has similar inspiration that you talk of: there is a fat cat that brings me dead birds every morning, a spare bedroom to write in, a sewer plant next door that provides lovely scents, neighbors that flood their toilet and my apartment, an illegal day care with numerous little fatty kids that throw ice cubes at one another, and scary ravine filled with some water but mostly garbage that is a constant source of terror for my imagination. Cheers to finding inspiration anywhere!

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  28. I have lived in the same house for more than 20 years. It's a nice suburban neighborhood so I usually have to initiate the screams and car fires. Ok, it may actually have been a grill fire but still...

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  29. Awesome on the 15k, I HATE moving. Done it so many times it isn't funny. But it does make for some good stories and such. Marbles needed some serious release there hahaha

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  30. That's a lot of downloads! Congrats... quite the achievement!

    And quite the cozy little office you had there! But tell me, where did you put your beer? Don't tell me in the underwear drawer!

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  31. I was going to say something about your blog,but then I got to the 15,000 downloads thing, and... wow!

    Congratulations!

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  32. Crap! 15K? And I was happy that I was responsible for 1 of those. Okay, well, two of those... because if I sold 2 copies of my book because of something some other person said, I'd be ecstatic. It would be 2 more copies than I sold in all of March.
    I could take those 2 copies back, though, and you guys wouldn't even notice...

    You should read the book The Losers by David Eddings, by the way.

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  33. 15k? Does A,azon give you star stickers like Ebay does for this? Would be nice, sort of like a medal.

    Jaysus you have lived in "great" places, seriously how did you get into the closet in the first place?

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  34. 15k downloads? Very awesome! Thats a hell of an acomplishment for you boys!

    And as for being the guy who is always moving, I think that would count as me as well amongst my friends. However, my moving was more out of a necesity to figure out where I was going to put all my IT junk.....

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  35. Congrats on the 15K, that's amazing!!

    Homes in less-than-desirable neighbourhoods make for such good stories. Almost makes me miss the half-collapsed shoebox I had in South Philly...

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  36. Wow guys, congratulations on all the downloads. Hopefully you get some sweet moolah for that. I've lived in a few places, but as I'm yet to live alone, they were all quite nice really.

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  37. THAT IS FUCKING AWESOME ABOUT THE 15K DOWNLOADS!!! CONGRATULATIONS, GUYS!!

    Your teeny office has a staple gun, and I notice this immediately because like all simpletons I'm attracted to shiny and potentially dangerous objects.

    Also? I see that setting only ONE car on fire in your life wasn't enough for you. You just HAD to do it to another, huh Brandon? Only in the city this time?

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  38. My life is much less exciting, and so I'm not an amazing writer. I'm sure I could just go out and find excitement though. Sure, that.

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  39. 15K is incredible.

    I am also the guy that moves all the time. I don't even know why. Although, it has slowed down in the last few years.

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  40. By the way, even though you've already won this, Hanny and I want to grant you the Versatile Blogger Award on our blog! :D Congrats!

    -Barb the French Bean

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  41. 15,000 - pretty damn classy. I have moved a ton as well and each place also left it's mark. I can't hear an ambulance now without thinking of all the old people in Sarasota, FL.

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  42. Moving is always tough, but I am still young enough to offer assistance to all friends who need it. The day is filled with reminiscing about the good times.

    When's that next book coming out?

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  43. LOL! I love you had to step outside just to change your mind.

    Places are full of inspiration. It's a joy in our current flat in Germany to shower in only half the bathtub while the water shoots into our faces. I feel like a contortionist in training.

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  45. Glad to see your move was so justified. Another hilarious post! I think a move always makes a good story. I always think about what caused the move, what was the move like. Soon enough I will have my own moving story (I still live with my parents). But until then, this one will tide me over. I just hope I will move under better circumstances with a less dramatic cause...

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  46. Glad to see your move was so justified. Another hilarious post! I think a move always makes a good story. I always think about what caused the move, what was the move like. Soon enough I will have my own moving story (I still live with my parents). But until then, this one will tide me over. I just hope I will move under better circumstances with a less dramatic cause...

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  47. This post was a really nice departure from your norm. Very nice to hear from you as a person Brandon and learn more about your life. Moving so much is difficult because you lose your own history when you leave. It's like having bits of your life strung here and there all willy-nilly, more like a lot of washcloths rather than one large towel.

    Congratulations of the downloads. I sincerely hope that this takes off for you two. It is truly a well done piece of writing.

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  48. Very glad that all of that moving inspired you to make this blog. I will also be moving in the next couple of weeks as I got a much-wanted transfer at work.

    Congrats on the success of The Missing Link! You can add one more to that number. I have been meaning to get it, but have been so busy with blog-related stuff.

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  49. Congrats on the Amazon success!

    You always make me laugh out loud with these posts...thank you. I have moved many times but never thought about anything funny coming out of it. Then again, I never met a squirrel with huge nuts.

    Have to admit, though, that my pillow-biting yowls of delight did make my next-door neighbors in the dorm bang on the wall a couple of times. Which is why I moved into an apartment at the end of my freshman year in college.

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  50. I want to know what happened with Marbles. He almost doesn't look real. There's too much muscle there. Marbles could just be on steroids, but his testicles are too large for that.

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  51. 15, 000 times is amazing!!! Yay :)

    I need to find more inspiration for writng :/

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  52. 15,000? That's more times than I've picked my own arse...oh...wait...now it's not.

    Congrats on all your success!

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  53. Well, Marbles been quite a mentor to you. TML on "the top 100 bestsellers of three separate PAID genres on Amazon.com"? Wow, wow! Fantastic. So happy for you guys. Get out there and pour some cold ones, and hell, flush the hydrants while you're at it. (It's so good that there are some things that you can do in any old place.) ;)

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  54. Congratulations to you on the 15,000+ downloads!

    Also, I appreciate you sharing the story of your path writing success- or if not success at least not total obscurity.

    That laundry room you had looks like a terrible environment in which to do anything creative.

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  55. "If you can't kill 'em, satirize 'em" - story of my life.

    Congrats on the success of the book!

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  56. Dang that's a ton of downloads!!!

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  57. Dude DUDE! Congrats to you two bros for TML's risin' up!

    Gah, hearing things like that really inspires me to keep it up, just keep writin' and keep on with the content...

    Here's to followin' yer dreams and doin' what the hell you like doin'! Ain't that true freedom?

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  58. Congratz as well on the 15,000 hits...maybe that's why I suck a writing living in a cosy welsh suburb...

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  59. "After college, I moved into a Denver high-rise apartment I couldn’t afford, with a girlfriend I (eventually) couldn’t stand."
    This is a thing then? Everybody does it?

    P.S.Congratulations on the book, boys. I'm off to see if I can get me a copy.

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  60. downloaded your book to my Kindle Fire. now I have to finish the Steve Jobs bio and start it!

    love the squirrel with balls

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  61. Congrats on those numbers! My brother-in-law has moved 16 times in the past 10 years. I get tired just thinking about it.

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  62. It's great to heat that The Missing Link is doing so well. Keep on keeping on, good sirs!

    PS. I also have to agree with California Girl about the squirrel balls. It really was a classy touch.

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  63. Wow congrats!! You know I recently also read a study putting the total number of computers countrywide in all federal prisons.... at 15.000!!! huh? Quite a coincidence?

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  64. I find it appropriate, at this moment, to say "get iiiiiittt!" like we're booty dropping up in da club.

    seriously, I can't believe you worked in that closet! I am s chlosto and would have vomited everywhere, out of anger.

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  65. I remember your laundry closet/office...pretty ridiculous :)

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  66. There are some computer desks for home that just might work better than that stool. Writers really can find inspiration in the oddest places. Congratulations on your novel's success.

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