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.
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!