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Books and Bad Habits

a bunch of words in pretty strings

Og the Man-Animal
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You are not aquainted with me.
You are unfamiliar with the neighborhood in which I was raised.
You lack awareness of my capabilities.

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. – Henry David Thoreau

A lot of writers go through a phase in their development where they write one terrible novel drawn entirely from their own life. Some writers have been successful at it, even producing true classics of their time. It’s rare, but it happens.

I remember wanting to write the story of my own life. I remember thinking I could beat those odds. Either in a semi-fictionalized form, the way Kerouac often did, or a really wild and exaggerated fictionalization the way Thompson occasionally did, or straight and poignant narrative in reflection of Proust or Joseph Szebenyei.

Early on it became apparent to me that Jim Morisson was right. He was talking about a movie when he uttered this wisdom, but to be fair it was the movie of your life. “And you better have some good incidents happenin’,” he told us. “And a fitting climax.”

Years passed before I realized that we are all writing the story of our lives. Living is, in itself, an artwork in progress. Some of us work patiently, deliberately. Others splash the paint haphazardly. Many appear to do one, while actually doing the other.

When fighting against EVIL from the dawn of time, I will not hesitate to cheat at chess.

(about the author)
John Underwood was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1983. He began writing at the age of six, and believes that after twenty years he is almost good at it.

He has been a college student, cook, newspaper deliverer, contract laborer, receptionist, typist, grocery store clerk, bookstore clerk, restaurant manager, web designer, bartender and a homeless person at different times in his life.

Currently, John lives in Bradenton, Florida. He may be passed out on the beach.
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