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Monday, December 20, 2004

So, what am I supposed to do with this information

It's 6am and I've just downed a glass of Guinness. Inside it was a half-shot of Makers and half-shot of Baileys. It's breakfast, after all.

I've propped myself up by my elbows on the bar and am sitting within whispering distance of a guy I'd first met face-to-face only six or so hours before.

"Otis, you should write a book."

The sun is coming up and it's painting the guy's face with an awkward mix of natural and fake light that would drive a professional photographer batty. Somewhere, a few seats down, a guy they call Big Mike is negotiating with the bartender to whip up another batch of what we just had.

I should write a book, they say.

I take a swig from the bottle sitting in front of me, scan the room for anybody who may be listening, and say half-outloud, but more to myself...

"A book. About what?"

***

The past six months have been an interesting time for me. I've endured a professional hellstorm of indifference. I've been blessed with the birth of my son. I've watched Mrs. Otis transform herself from porfessional woman, to mother, to a lovely amalgum of both.

And I've been writing quite a bit.

When I was in kindergarten, I didn't have much of a way to express myself. With crayola, I drew a particulary maudlin sketch of myself in a coffin. It was Memorial Day, after all. The picture landed me with a school counsellor.

By third grade, I was scribbling out the first of what would be reams of little stories. The first one, as I think I've written her before, was titled "The Ants" and chronicled a nasty little camping trip during which the family camper was invaded by big black ants. Write what you know, they say.

By my early high school years I was writing short stories about love lost and murderous thoughts. It's the kind of writing that today would get me kicked out of school and put on a police watch list for homicidal teenagers.

In college, I wrote, but I still don't know what it was all about. I have several notebooks that, in retropect, were little more than a paper-based blog. Looking back, it's probably good that I didn't have a blog back then. A lot of that stuff would've been perfectly embarassing to have out here in public view (as if breakfast Car Bombs aren't emabrassing enough for a 31 year old child).

Once I left college, I dispatched monthly e-mails to friends back home. I called them Deep South Updates. I recall one where I was so lonely and enamored with boneless, skinnless chicken breasts that I puzzled over whether salmonella could be considered a sexually transmitted disease.

And then I made it to where I am now. I met a lovely woman named Susannah who encouraged me to start a blog. That's this.

Then came Up For Poker. Then a local magazine. Then ALL IN magazine.

Then, yesterday, I wandered through Barnes and Noble on a Christmas shopping trip and happened to find a copy of a magazine on the shelf. Sure enough, there it was. My name on a couple of articles.

That was odd.

I stood in the perodical section and flipped through the magazine (the latest issue of ALL IN) and tried to get hold of the idea that I'm...

Well, shit, I don't want to get into that right now.

This is just an odd time for me.

I don't think it's any real secret that I've danced around the idea of being a writer for most of my life. I've always found an excuse, good or bad, not to play with the idea very much.

And, now, I find myself actually considering the possibility.

And, that friends, is a little spooky.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ignatious said...

i've got news for you, my man:

you already ARE a writer.

an excellent one. now accept that reality and move on, damnit.

4:44 PM  

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
All poker stories, travelogues, food writing, parenting and marriage advice, crime stories, and other writing should be taken with a grain of salt. It is also all protected under a Creative Commons license
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