I’d been writing a lot of non fiction and essays lately. The Good Men Project published Can Bad Fathers Make Better Fathers just a couple weeks ago. I encourage any of my writer friends to send GMP an essay or article. They’re great and they’re on fire lately. This last week they had 7 million page views and growing. My essay was about when my dad died. It’d happen a few years ago, and I had always wanted to write about it but just couldn’t. Sometimes I’d sit down and start to write or type but ended up with a blank page, until a few weeks ago. It’s weird how you have to be ready to write about a certain topic. It took me years before I could write about what happened in Iraq.
My next article was accepted by Nailed Magazine, and again I encourage everyone to send them an essay, fiction, or even art. They are an amazing online magazine and their content is intriguing. The article I wrote is about me being a combat veteran with PTSD pretending to be a terrorist in order to train other soldiers going to war and in turn helping my PTSD. It’s a good little essay and I think that will be the last time I write about combat for a while. I know my combat memoir is coming out next year and I’ll travel around the country reading parts from it, but I’m going to start writing about other things.
I’m still shopping for a home for my waterboarding piece. It’s a non fiction story about the time I helped waterboard people in the back of my Xterra in Southeast Portland. It was a class on how to survive and blend into an urban environment and how to withstand torture so the people we waterboarded actually paid for the experience. It’s a great little story. I’ll let you know when I find a home for it.
The latest thing I’ve been working on is a piece of fiction from a woman’s point of view. Well, it’s close third, but with a female voice. I’m sending that out this week sometime. I love this piece and now the short story bug crawled in my ear. I tried opening up my novel again, and I even typed up a page or two, but I’m just not into it. The structure of the short story is extremely challenging to me and I enjoy figuring it out. I’m finding that there are so many opportunities to add layers, depth, and metaphor everywhere. I guess because when I chose to write the short above I reread Symbols and Signs by Nabokov. Now I’m hooked. Read it; it’s awesome. Here’s a link:
I also finished Ablutions by Patrick deWitt. That guy can write and he’s a Pacific Northwest Writer! Ablutions had some seriously beautiful prose that laced his story of hideous self-destruction, like gold nuggets and diamonds in shit. I carried that book around in my back pocket and read it during stolen moments at the DMV, farmers markets, park, or where ever. I told my buddy John I was reading it and right away he asked if I’d read The Sisters Brothers. I hadn’t but I rushed out and bought it. Now I can’t put that one down. It’s a completely different style but so great. It really does read like a Cormac McCarthy book with a sense of humor. I recommend it.
I start teaching at Pacific University on Monday and my author pic photo shoot is scheduled for the first week of September. Do I go beard or no beard? Shit, beard of course. They want to take some pictures of me and my brother’s art too for the marketing campaign. How awesome. I’ll attach a couple of those pictures here. AND, great news, Brothers Davis has an appointment with SIX DAYS art gallery on Alberta on September 2nd to talk about entrance into the art coop and a show. These will be among the paintings we’ll use for the jury. So wish us luck!