Month: June 2016

Daybook 6 | The Power of Collaboration

I became a serious musician (in 1989) a few years before I became a novice writer (in 1993) and a serious writer (in 1997) – at age 15, 19 and 23, respectively. When you’re in a band you learn quickly the power of collaboration with other creative souls. Music is one of the most communal of all the arts, and thus, the musician often has an innate desire and ability to collaborate.  I’ve seen this on a regular basis with my current band.  Over the past 25 years I’ve been in several bands and the vast majority of them have been creatively democratic.  It’s more rewarding for all involved when contributions are welcome, appreciated and accepted – collaboration. However, when it comes to the art and act of creative writing, it’s traditionally been a starkly different situation.  It doesn’t help that creative writing is, by and large, a predominantly solitary activity.  So my writer’s ego – particularly with prose – has almost always been that of the lone wolf; at most times confident, but usually …

A Nice Warm Welcome, Right?

~ written sometime in 1998 ~ The abrupt sound of knocking on the door echoed throughout the studio and startled him.  Aside from his parole officer, he had no other company to expect. “Mister Johns, you in there?” That was the annoying voice of the landlord, Albert McFarland coming from behind the door.  The man went by Al.  His voice reminded Maynard of Jackie Gleason on that old sitcom The Honeymooners.  McFarland knocked again. Hold your damn horses, he wanted to say.  He opened the door to see the short rotund man as he stood there with a cheap cigar in his mouth.  McFarland gave him a once-over, a look of suspicion in his sharp gray eyes. “Yeah, what can I do for you?” Maynard said, his morning voice untested and rough. “Just came to have a look at those blinds,” McFarland said. “And I forgot to mention your air unit ain’t exactly up to snuff either.” Was that all?  Maynard didn’t buy it. “Mind if I come in for a sec?” “Well, I was …