Phil Cobb, Author

Fun, Follies and Loss of Innocence in Novel Land

I’ll tell you a story

Have you ever been super excited to work on an idea or project?

I feel the same way now that I’m writing a novel.

But I also had that excitement once before.

For the true story of what happened, start with “How I Killed My Birthday Party.”

 

A flying saucer lands on me

Man staring up at a landing UFO

How did my Old West saga turn into a space opera?

My previous post — I Give Birth to a Baby — told how I came up with a desperate ploy to get the cash from a publisher so I could keep writing full-time.

I settled on churning out a western because I knew all about the Old West from watching cowboy shows on television.

Thanks to blessed inspiration and being kicked in the ass by desperation, I had the manuscript ready to go in a month.

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I give birth to a baby

Writer deep in thought

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.

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A sharp poke in the eye

Plaster patch on eye wound

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.

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I get run off the ranch

Tumbleweed on a road

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 . . .

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How I killed my birthday party

Stack of comic books

My guests were pissed, hopping from foot to foot in exasperation.

Let’s head back in time to attend a formative literary event in the annals of writing.

It was a birthday party for me, but whether I actually “attended” it is up for debate. You see, I was three years old.

It’s not that I didn’t understand the concept of a birthday party at that age . . . believe me, I was all for it.

So, there I was, seated on a chair. Whatever preceded my sitting down, I don’t recall, nor do I remember what followed after I got . . . The Best Present of All Time.

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