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Featured true story: “The Girl in the Chicken Pen”
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Have you ever been super excited to work on an idea or project?
I feel the same way now that I’m writing a book.
It’s a Dog Adventure for adults.
What’s it about?
Basically, a dog decides to be a hero, but he messes up relationships, creates angry enemies and panics the U.S. government.
Just go to “Books” above to find out more.
Also, this isn’t the first time I’ve written a novel.
What happened that first time?
Plenty. Even my relatives turned against me. See “I Get Run Off the Ranch” under the “Follies” heading above.
Anything else you got into?
You bet. For example, find out what happened when I was a kid and tried to help the school’s scariest bully. Look for that post under “Life’s Slices” above.
Adverb happily played his part in sentences until we turned on him
Once upon a time, there was a happy place called WordLand, where the various parts of speech would leave their village to frolic in Keyboard Meadow, joyously helping fiction authors tell their stories.
That is, they were happy until Great King Stephen rode up on his mighty steed — On Scribbling — and thrust his lance at the throng, pointing in turn at Verb, Noun, Adjective, Pronoun, Preposition, Conjunction and Interjection.
“What is wrong with you? Why do you form yourselves into sentences with that despicable wretch, the abomination of good StoryTelling?”
Yippee ki-yay! I was going to run down this Wild West story and ride it to the big time
As mentioned in I Become a Crawling Thing, for a while I used to be what’s called a freelancer.
Basically, you’re a journalistic tumbleweed. You roll around trying to find an editor to hire you for an assignment at whatever pitiful pay you can get.
Scrounging for dollars back in the day, I rolled into a chamber of commerce office with a big tip for the magazine editor. One of my relatives had other relatives who claimed that one of their kinfolk actually knew Billy the Kid, the legendary western gunslinger.
This wasn’t my classroom, but it takes me back to that day
Do you ever wonder about somebody from back in your school days . . . and how they turned out?
Probably the one I’ve wondered about the most is Bub. A bully.
Because of what somebody said about him.
I tried to do it all . . . and went down for the count
If you read the post A Spy Gets Me In From The Cold, you know I badgered my way onto a daily newspaper.
Finally, I had a steady income, and I got on-the-job training in being a copy editor.
Unfortunately, it all came to an end.
What’s that you ask?
Oh, not the newspapering.
The copy desk chief was really excited about my ability to edit news stories
If you remember from I’m Tagged as a Misfit, I needed money but I was striking out in finding a job.
In my interviews, I showed up overdressed, got pegged as a troublemaker, and channeled the Cheshire Cat.
Afterward, I sat at home lamenting the year I spent writing The Not-So-Great American Novel only to follow it with Western schlock that got whipped out of town by a New York City publisher.
Great. No book. No job. No money.
When my year of novel writing flopped, I forced myself to enter the work force
If you tuned in to my prior post — A Flying Saucer Lands on Me — you know that my lifetime goal was to stay in my cheap apartment writing in my underwear.
To continue that wonderful lifestyle, I was counting on a quickie Western book to lasso me out of a deepening financial hole.
But when I tossed my manuscript over the transom of a New York publishing company, they heaved it back like a sack of mealy flour.
There was no more pretending to be a starving writer when the fiction might come true.
A desperate time calls for a desperate solution
If you read A Sharp Poke in the Eye, you know that I wound up in a sorry state after struggling to write great literature.
The $1,800 bankroll I had been living on for one year was collapsing like a bad lung.
This is when you are faced with two awful impending realities: eviction . . . or . . . getting a real job.
What would you do? Apply for a job?
Uh, not me.
Here’s what happened when I took on the meaning of life
As detailed in “I Get Run Off the Ranch,” finding a stable place to write was becoming a real chore, particularly when your own relatives kick you off their place.
To preserve your bankroll, you find yourself scouting out trailer parks and cramped attic dwellings as well as sketchy roommate ads.
When you’re told the rent will be figured out after you move in, you get a gut feeling that more than dollar bills will be involved. No, thanks.
Just as it looked like I might have to use PLAN B — the back seat of my car — I found an apartment with a Murphy bed.
Devotion to writing can turn you into a tumbleweed, but with mind-reading power
If you read my first blog post, “How I Killed My Birthday Party,” you know how I busted up that birthday party by reading before I could read.
After that, like you, I went to school and learned to actually read words. From then on, I always had to have a book to read.
Surely with that background, I would be a writer someday, not just a reader.
But have you ever attempted to do something great
. . . and it turns out . . .