Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Adventures on Route 66

At Thrillerfest I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by David Morrell regarding his passion for Route 66 - the television show. I found it fascinating to learn from David's inspirations on how he came to writing and telling stories. Maybe I found it fascinating because they parallel mine. As a story teller, TV and movies have inspired me as well.

And last week I found myself in the great Southwest cruising along the old Route 66 thinking of David and the way it used to be. I stopped in Santa Rosa New Mexico for lunch at Joseph's Bar and Grill - and stepped back in time. But in a good way. I saw the way the "old" west was. Quiet, sun-baked, friendly people of blended races - Indian, Mexican, Anglo - all living under the wide open skies. I felt free there somehow. In small towns I often feel confined - trapped in a small cage, pacing. But not in Santa Rosa. Not on Route 66. I felt the wide open skies and the wide open spaces. I walked past the crumbling adobe buildings and felt the dry heat bake my skin. I looked into dark brown eyes and saw contentment and peace. Santa Rosa. Freedom. Peace. Tranquilty. Now I realize more than ever why David Morrell loved that television show so much.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

NYC, it's an adult portion....

As Chris Everheart reminded me, Levon Helm of The Band once said about NYC: "NYC, it's an adult portion."
Damn straight.

Just got back from Thrillerfest where I and fellow Midwesterners Kelly Keady and Chris Everheart took in the "sights and sounds" of the Big Apple. What a weekend - I'm not even sure where to begin. How about the beginning?

The organization honored 22 of us new authors with a breakfast where I got a minute to speak about myself and my book. At first I thought a minute wasn't very long - until I saw the sea of faces looking back at me. One minute can be very long indeed. But judging by the photo above, I didn't project that nervousness, although I think I stared at my book the entire time.

Then it was off to panels and discussions and networking and trying not to look or act too much like an asshole. Do no harm is the first rule at these things. Moderately successful on that front I think. Met some terrific people and I know I'll forget most of their names the next time we meet so I apologize now for that.

I did a couple signings for the book and here I am next to another debut author Sean Chercover. Picked up his book for the flight home - I'm a big James Crumley fan and I now have someone to fill that void 'cause Crumley doesn't write much anymore. Sean's Big City, Bad Blood is PI fiction at its best. And that's the lovely Jennifer from the equally lovely island of Barbados - and yes, Sean is stealing my women fans as fast as I make them....

I was on a panel with the great David Morrell and we chatted about heroes that aren't your typical hero. My guy being a dive shop operator qualified. Bright guy, and a huge fan of the old TV show Route 66. He gave a little presentation one night and I found it fascinating - and an intimate look into David's life and influences. It's those moments that I find fascinating - getting behind the green curtain and seeing the complete man.

More to come I'm sure, but my brain is still thick with all that's happened the past couple days. Time to hit the hammock and decompress. Margarita please....

Monday, July 2, 2007

Be good and you will be lonesome

Be good and you will be lonesome
Be lonesome and you will be free
Live a lie and you will live to regret it
That's what living is to me
-Jimmy Buffett

The 4th of July. Independence Day. Choosing our own destiny.

As the years of my life wind on, choosing my own destiny becomes increasingly important to me. It's one of the reasons I write. Hell, it might be the main reason. I know that. I write because I can control the story. I can control the life of my characters in a way that I find difficult in my own. I can choose their destiny. I can give them their independence.

And in so doing, I give myself some independence too. I live a life a little less lonesome; a life with a little less regret. Everyday I write I give myself a new independence day. Everyday I write I live less of a lie. And that's what living is to me.