There is a scene set in the Mission District where the main character and his mentor of sorts, Ray, sit and watch kids being taught martial arts in a garage. They talk about what it takes to fight back and fail and be who you’ve always wanted to be. They sit and find something essential by simply being together.
My book is essentially a three act play. It begins in San Francisco and then moves to Columbus, Ohio and returns to San Francisco. The chapters that are set in Ohio, were the most challenging to write. I had not written about Ohio before and I struggled to find the right collection of memories and experiences to match what I had created in the other sections of the book. I simply had so much to write about when it came to this chapter in my life. In the end, I was able to filter out what was right for this book and this story and this character. And ultimately, I led myself to a collection of material that will one day become another project.
Currently, Joshua Mohr’s Sirens, Eduardo Galeano’s The Book of Embraces, a small dial radio and pens, pens, pens.
Coffee. Turn off the Internet. Write.
I wrote this book after leaving my life in San Francisco, and then moving to Montreal, Quebec. I’d say that my biggest inspiration for the writing was the incredible amount of art and music that I experienced in that city, the relationships I made, and the distance I had from San Francisco. For five years, I’d worked in the Tenderloin at a Dining Room for homeless and low income folks as well as helping to run a security team in one of the toughest neighborhoods in town; at night I tended bar so that I could save money to finish my book. I was exhausted and burned out and desperate to live with nothing but my art. Once away, I was able to write daily, ride bicycles, drink wine with my Canadian family, and reflect on what I’d seen and experienced. I found what I needed to write, write, write and when I needed to hear the voices of other writers, I’d listen to Other People with Brad Listi. In the end, the pace and energy of a new experience, helped bring this book to life.