Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crazy Change

Why I am, as a writer.

I’ve always counted my life experiences among my greatest assets.
I am not an Army, Navy nor any other type of institutionally defined brat, but I have moved, and moved often. Why my brattiness you ask?... purely my own design.

Before my fourteenth birthday my family and I had inhabited at least eight homes scattered over four states, Alabama, California, Oregon, Kansas, and then California, and Oregon again; couple that with required school moves and I was the definition of an adolescent nomad. After that, things stabilized, if only a bit. Four years in Newberg, Oregon led to two colleges, five stays in Alaska, two in Colorado and one in California before finally settling in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Perhaps my numerous transitions help me to write, I know they push me to write. I am a storyteller and am rarely without a new idea, though as I get older, I fear my muse will-wane (rhymes with... Lil-Wayne). My desire now is to write stories in a manner worth sharing. Any artist worth their sanity understands that taste plays a huge role in books chosen, so I realize my stories (anyone’s stories) can’t appeal to everyone. But I am desperate to develop the skills of plot hooks, character voice and scene pacing so that the task of writing, and thus the reading, becomes more fluid and more accessible.

I have thus logged three years on my first-novel-training-ground, and based on my past that’s a pretty long stay, but worth every second.

I just realized something. Perhaps writing is a way for me to recapture the excitement of moving, embracing the unknown as it were. I love my lush, Douglas Fir shaded valley, I love that my family is growing and learning and finds security in the familiar surroundings of a small town. The smell of the fresh cut grass the cool evening breezes... but sometimes, I just need to get away.

Someone once said... "The difference between an artist and a person that's crazy, is that the artist has a two way ticket and the crazy person only has a one-way."

How does your past impact your writing?

This week's opening line was submitted by (okay, perhaps "extracted" from) the prophetable bard... L.G. Smith.
"Get your damn finger off of the mouse, Munk."
Munk's (erm... LG's) "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk... note: no mice were injured during the writing of this blog.

This week's music: for you Cake lovers out there, this is a must see streetwise review video of Short Skirt/Long Jacket... love it. "She's trading her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron." ...if she was a little more like the broad in this song...


K.C. Woolf said...

I'm also about 3 years into the first-novel-experience, and like you said: it's worth every second.

I haven't moved that often, but I've always loved travelling. I notice writing is a kind of travelling in my mind: a way to relive old trips and create new ones to unexplored territory.

Anonymous said...

Love this post. Thoughtful and thought-provoking. I have not moved an extraordinary amount in my life, but I have moved recently. As with my travels, this move has raised my senses to my surroundings. It is much easier to write setting when you are constantly aware of details in your environment!

Dawnelle said...

I sure am glad that you lived in California! Write on Munk.....Great post, by the way!

L.G.Smith said...

All that moving is a tough adjustment for a kid. My dad grew up moving around like that and said he always got beat up as the new kid at school. I'm guessing your humor helped you survive, though. But that kind of life experience is priceless for a writer -- especially one who writes for young people.

And, um, that opening sentence is a little odd out of context, isn't it?

The Gaelic Wife said...

Where in Alabama? And I feel so dyslexic right now. In reading the line of lyrics, I could have *sworn* that it said, "she's trading her MG for a white Chrysler LeBron," as in James. And I was wondering, "What does basketball have to do with an MG?"

Tim Riley said...

I've moved quite a few times in my life, not nearly as much as you, but enough. I love all the places I've lived. I think moving has taught me to look more closely at things, to appreciate small details about a place that make it special to me. I try to bring that attention to detail when describing settings. I love writing that captures the essence of a place. I'm trying to do that with the book I'm working on, and I think the fact that I've moved around a bit helps me.

Munk said...

@LG--Love the opener.
@TGW--Huntsville. Lebron... funny.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

My past influences my stories quite a bit. Funny thing is, I've never read the kind of book I'm now trying to get published because...they don't exist LOL.

But maybe in terms of your writing, living in all different places must make it much easier to write about different places authentically because you know those places.

Not too shabby. And no expensive airline tickets need to be purchased :o)

Lydia K said...

Okay the one-way/round-trip ticket to craziness is a brilliant concept.

I haven't moved nearly as much as you. I think I fear moving; so in fiction, it's safer to explore.

Michael Offutt said...

I like the video. Too bad they didn't take all the naysayers and put them in a room with a bunch of people programmed to say "OMG IT IS FANTASTIC. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!" and see if this caused the naysayers to rethink their opinion.

DEZMOND said...

"I am not an Army, Navy nor any other type of institutionally defined brat"

standing ovations and a thunderous applause! :)

Mama Bear said...

Great post! I’ve never been one for traveling, but thankful that there are those that do to share the world with us back home.

Jodi Chamberlain said...

Munk, you've always been a great story-teller. One of my favorites is about you and the straw. "We cleaned the straw" always make me laugh.

Munk said...

@DUO-World creation is another subject entirely
@LK-Javier Bardem said the quote, but didn't take credit for it.
@MO-interesting... or vice versa put the lovers in a room full of haters
@Dez-thank you.
@MB-we all stretch in our our own way.
@JC-yes, me and the straw. ouch. hate the straw.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

I'll be tagging you on my blog today. Drop by and pass it along :o)

Jayne said...

Oh Munk, I love me them Cake! I featured them on one of my Friday Night Frolics. I've never been to Oregon or the Willamette Valley (but I enjoy its wines), however I've heard of its lush landscape, and can imagine that it would be a breeding ground of inspiration.

And I'll bet it doesn't hurt that you've been uprooted several times--that calls for big adaptability, and exposes you to various perspectives. Aside from being surrounded by natural beauty, I think travel is a writer's best friend
Clearly, it's been quite kind to you. ;)