Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On the Verge 1: A Writing Addict's Quest to See Where Curiosity (Or) Insanity Takes Her

On the Verge

A Writing Addict's Quest to See Where Curiosity Insanity Takes Her

Hello. I'm Cardinal Robbins. I've often lurked here, because I enjoy reading the “Chiseled in Rock” blog. While I couldn't become a RMFW member because I'm in Southern California, the knowledge and perspectives here could not be ignored. Gusto Dave Jackson got my attention the quickest, because he has a writing style much like one of my all-time favorite authors: Harlan Ellison.

I've yet to have the pleasure of meeting Gusto Dave in person, but in a bizarre turn of events I have met the amazing Mr. Ellison. Harlan is quite a character, to say the least. He's extremely mercurial, has zero tolerance for steer manure, and always tells the truth – even if it's bone shatteringly blunt and you're not ready to hear it, good or bad. When we met at a mutual friend's party, he was in an incredibly good mood and sat down to chat. He encouraged my insanity instead of recommending a straight jacket coupled with psych meds and years of intensive therapy. Who needs BASE jumping, NASCAR driving, or riding the craziest roller-coaster you could ever imagine for a rush? Absolutely nothing compares to having your favorite writer practically make a beeline for you (without your threatening him with a weapon), to talk about your writing instead of his! I still have no explanation for why this happened. This was in the realm of UFO landings and vacationing in the Bermuda Triangle with Sasquatch. All I know is, he understood my obsession on the deepest level, sympathized like no one else ever had or could, then told me to let no one discourage me. Write. Or. Die.

Each time we read exemplary writing our addiction is triggered; inspiration is our heroin, there is no 28-day rehab for us, no Higher Power to delivery us from sleep deprivation while we scribble furtively with a hopeful heart. We're chasing the dragon, people. We're hooked on being able to read what we often wished others would write for our consumption. We get a profound thrill from the challenge of carefully crafting words to make others feel genuine emotion. It's all a power trip like nothing else. And, if we're lucky, some of us will eventually get a boost in the bank account for our often Herculean efforts.

I'm not to that point...yet. My bank account consists of dust, cobwebs, a dried up moth or's an ugly sight. Yet there's no way I can quit, not until I see my name on a printed book – or on some type of streaming media that's rented, sold or subscribed to which people find entertaining. My family calls it my “weird, wonderful life,” and I agree completely. My term for it is being “on the verge.” Gusto Dave  expressed interest in how I've progressed from making my high school English Comp teacher break down and bawl when I killed a character to how I've created a unique series concept, collaborating with Richard Belzer and his non-fiction writing partner, David Wayne.

Fellow writers, even I could not make this stuff up.

Knowledge and experience are worthless unless they are shared with others. I'm breaking all the rules – pulling, pushing, twisting, bending them all and oddly enough I'm making steady progress. After all, weren't rules meant to be broken? You bet they were! I'd like nothing more than for you to join me on this wild, crazy journey, sharing the highs, lows, and how to get past the hurdles meant to rip the heart and soul out of even the most dedicated among us.

Come with me, because I'm far from the only one who's on the verge. You are, too; I can feel it. Together, we are going to succeed.


Sisters of the Quill said...

Wow Dave! Harlan Ellison... such a great compliment!
Nice that Harlan encourages madness. We can't be totally sane and do what we do and take what we take and leave what we have to leave.

May all our cobwebs turn into gold.
- Karen Lin (AKA Inkpot)

Dave, should we now call you Harley?

Sisters of the Quill said...

Only one more thing to say:

Chiseled in Rock said...

It was a very nice compliment. :)