I've been writing stories, in one way or another, since I was in third grade. My teacher that year was Mrs. Steiber, a yellow-haired older woman with an eagle eye for writing talent. Or so she told me and I believed her. She encouraged me to write, write, and write some more. I did that, because I appreciated the attention she gave me. Sometimes it was hard to get attention at home, what with three brothers flying around the house.
The second influence on my writing came from my Eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Dobush, who was equally impressed with my ability to turn Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet into blank verse poetry and her own ability to lose the original piece. We didn't make copies back then, teachers had to get permission to just use the school xerox machine. I wrote it and never saw it again.
I've had other great influences, lovers who saw something in me that I had forgotten might be hiding there. My mother is an inspiration with her own writing, her return to college and her determination to get a Doctorate in English. Now she is Dr. Mom. My father has a great work ethic, a responsible man who did what needed doing to put food on the table and clothing on our backs. He was a teacher for over 20 years and he taught his students with passion, dignity, and respect . I still run into my dad's old students and I see this love that shines through in their eyes for him.
I first wrote poems and short stories. I discovered a deep love for music and turned my attentions to songwriting. I learned the craft, then gave it up for love and stupidity. I returned to it at the age of 39, and wrote many songs I am deeply proud of. My influences were varied, but mostly it was one dear friend and lover who convinced me to explore my writing, allowing me to dream again. I am forever thankful for her encouragement. Almost ten years now, I have had the music passion burning within, even managed to release a CD. But the dream of musical success, as defined by the music industry, is a reality reserved for young'uns. It is their turn to chase the golden cow.
When I look back on my 40's, I will always see the heart of my music. Sadly, I will also see a man who wasn't faithful, was self-absorbed, and poorly played with too many hearts. I had become a lousy musician of life. I see pain and sadness when I look back. The music has been blended with truth of character, and has become food for history to devour.
Full circle can come around very fast, once you've had that long talk with God and a few short words with Jesus. You find your birth roots and your childhood focus. Your spirituality has been waiting for you to catch up. So I've come around and discovered my maturity, and a view of the world that I want to write down on paper (computer screen paper). I am finally home and there is a lot to see from my garage roof.
Ask yourself this question: do you think I am writing this blog for you? No. I am writing these stories because they are important to me, to the fulfillment of my soul, as an offering to my God, and for my family and friends to be reminded of moments we share together. This blog is a celebration of life, and a skewer for shrimp. For life has to eat and there is plenty of food on the table.
What this means for the reader is: I am not going to avoid writing about subjects that may offend or appear to be in poor taste. I have a strange work background that has kept food on our table and clothing on our backs. I am a Sewage Enforcement Officer, which means I know all the crappy jokes. If you want to subscribe to a high-brow, New Yorker-style blog, then this is not for you- I am not writing for you, for them, for politicians, media elites, or the actor's guild.
The Mutant Mouse Chronicles are about life in the trenches, underneath the glamour that corporate media blinds you and binds you to. Tim Russert can kiss my ass. So can Wolf Blitzer. So can Rush Limbaugh and all the other media darlings. You are being force fed baby food peas on tiny spoons designed perfectly for your brain-mouths. Someone has to throw larger portions at you, with all the fat and nasty oils. If you can handle that, then I am writing for you too.
The great explorer Magellan, when asked what was his hardest decision replied that it was whether to go with the wind or against it. I went with the wind for many, lonely, wasted years. Once I turned to face the wind, I found the going much harder. But I found I wasn't walking alone. For many of us, and increasingly so, the wind is rising and the walking more difficult. We will just have to hold hands and pull each other forward. That is what TMMC is about- going against the wind and getting somewhere worthwhile. We are going to work harder- fools that we are.
If you can't handle portajohns and the people who clean them. If you can't handle the homeless in the streets of Nashville, begging for money while riding a Trek, if you can't handle anything that just might dirty your store-bought dress, then TMMC is not for you-but you should expect to be written about because TMMC is written about you. All of humanity is open for review here. We don't care whether we have 2 or 2 hundred million subscribers. This blog will remain true to its ideal.
Next Blog: The Story of Two Nashvilles
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