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Crackpot Scribnerism Methodology: 3/1/22
Three fellow writers have asked me how I write on the go and what the ups and downs are. I will make this a series, covering various places where the pottery cracks and spews, describing the writing setting, amenities, associated activities, the methods and the type of content usual to each place. These are titled and numbered below:
-1. Portland: Garage, Dining Room and Bar
-2. Cascades: Pump room, camper and dining room
-3. Utah: Reloading room and lake home
-4. Virginia and California: hotel rooms
-5. Illinois and Trains: man cave and meat train
-6. Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Ephretta, Lancaster
-7. New Jersey: The Soprano Mansion
-8. Maryland: Mom’s House and the Incognegro Studio
-9. Baltimore: The Brick Mouse House and the Hen Den
-10. Ocean City, MD: Beach House Writing
-11. Denver, CO: to be visited
-12. Missouri: Country House-to be visited
Here, I should answer some general questions about staying productive while being a hobo. But first, I would like to thank the Great Dame, one smart broad, who has been my foremost supporter for over half a decade. I’ll call her Mandarin May, a lady who reads and speaks numerous languages, is a dog lover and likes pictures of Tobias and The Colonel’s dogs, reads mostly on the Patreon site and who sent the following text:
“Thanks for the lovely pictures! All is well. Life is always a negotiation and recalibration—something I undoubtedly don’t even need to tell you. Like peace and quiet and this setting does provide. Unpacked the last of the books and lo and behold, one by John Bunyan. Had just read your last treatise so thought it an interesting coincidence. You are such an excellent writer and totally autodidactic to boot. Impressive. Please stay on top of your ophthalmic situation. If there is anything I can ever do…”
Well, My Lady, you did it here. For a high school dropout and special ed knucklehead to get compliments on writing from someone who can actually spell ophthalmic is reward enough for literary misbehavior.
This fine lady has provided the heavy linen sheets I am now sitting under as I write this in Portland…
I no longer write on trains because masks make my glasses fog up, so I sleep and text readers and family and friends while rolling along.
I don’t travel well, am really a home body. So the day before, during and after traveling, I am usually too out of sorts to write. There are exceptions to this, which I’ll address in the various sections.
It generally takes a week before I am settled enough to do history or fiction writing. So, I tend to go to the emails and do Q&A articles the day after travel, unless I have no wifi, in which case travel writing is the norm.
After a month in one location, productivity starts to peak and I have to be careful not to overwork my eyes.
A week before I leave, I will start to get anxious and nervous and have dreams about packing and nightmares above travel mishaps. So, when I am only staying someplace for a few days or a week, I do not unpack the ruck sack or set up a desk. I’ll take the little back pack that I use to take my computers to the bar when I don’t have wifi and slide it out of the rucksack and live out of that. At places were I have left clothes, which is most of them now, I will try and just wear those clothes.
For the past two nights in Portland, as the rain beats on the roof above this cozy garage, I have awakened in the early morning hours and said to myself, “I must go down to the culvert at daybreak to make sure its draining,” think still that I am in the Cascades. Then, as urban darkness greats my open eyes instead of the predawn half-light under the mountain in Washington, I recall that I am in a new place.
These dis-orientations, the dreams and waking mistakes, the onerous relocations, does help with writing fiction by forcing first person experiences I am inclined to avoid. I never went on vacation in 38 years as a grocer, largely because I had no desire to travel, just wanting to crawl back into a lair and read after work.
Thank you so much for your support. I apologize for the ever untimely postings dictated by my mediaphobia and graphomania intersectionality and hope that for those readers and writers honoring these words with your ophthalmic attention, that this writing exercise proves worthwhile.
-James, Portland, Monday morning, March 1, 2022
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