So, I am in the middle of the fifth chapter of my as of yet unnamed book. As I am writing this bad boy, I have found myself in a constant struggle not only with being as true as possible to a set of circumstances from which, at this point, I am more than 12 years and a thousand miles distant but also with a litany that keeps cycling through my brain...why are you writing this...who cares...is anyone going to read this...is this funny enough...is this too funny...can you write a memoir this way....is there a right way...how the hell do you get a damn book published...you are dumb if you think anyone is going to publish this...when should I let folks start reading chapters to provide feedback. The list seems to go on ad infinitum.
I have found, though, that even with the struggles that come with writing the book, I am loving it. I am loving the process, I am loving the challenge, and I am loving forcing myself to delve into memories of perhaps one of the most turbulent times of my life (and for those that have known me...I can count the non-turbulent times on one foot). I have decided that the scope of the book is going to go from my sophomore year of college at Warren Wilson through my trip to Puerto Rico as a senior at the University of Minnesota. In the grand epochs of my life...it seems my life has naturally broken itself into various ages...birth to junior high...high school to the end of my freshmen year of college....my sophomore year of college up to my trip to Puerto Rico and my return to North Carolina...my return to Minnesota in 2001 to 2003 and the entrance of HIV into my world....2003 to Albuquerque and my return from Albuquerque to the present time. Good lord, that is a lot of subdivisions for a guy that is only 30 years old. At least I know that if this book sells, I have at least a good five or six more I can put out, and perhaps by the time those are done a new chapter in my life history will have been completed, so I can keep the paychecks coming.
Actually, writing this book has been a great exercise, and it has rekindled my love for great speculative fiction. I wrote a play a couple of years ago now about a vampire, since childhood I have read anything and everything I could get my hands on concerning vampires, and I have seen just about every major vampire flick from the early 80s forward (plus the original Dracula and snippets of Nosferatu). I love vampires, I love Anne Rice's vampires, I love Bram Stoker's vampires, I love Joss Whedon's vampires, and I think that the next project (see me always thinking ahead) is going to be my own take on the vampire legends. But, you know, I haven't finished the book I am currently working on.
Writing is such a beautiful beautiful thing. Folks have complimented me on my writing. And I have deeply appreciated those compliments, but I feel as if my ability to write is akin to someone that can sing their butt off, or is a piano virtuoso...there is hard work that goes into developing the talent, but, in the end, it is a genetic predisposition that resulted from the luck of the draw. Some people can see a piece a woman in a piece of marble, and I just see marble. The key, for me, is encouraging everyone to find their gifts and to explore them and share them and appreciate them as well. And I appreciate the opportunity to share my gifts, and hard work, with those around me. And, if by chance, someone gets laughter, joy, a good cry, or an aha moment from something I've written, then all the better.