My Super Power

I think I’m good at making things up.  I have vivid imagination and always have.  I remember when I was a little kid, I loved playing make believe – only it was very real to me – like when I’d pretended I was a TV chef – The Galloping Gourmet was at the forefront then – and I’d fill a wine glass with grape juice and ‘cook’ up a storm for the [imaginary] camera.  Or after watching the Olympics, I’d go outside and make up my own sports, compete and then interview myself after winning the event in spectacular fashion [again all while that imaginary camera was rolling].

This ability has served me well as writer – a mantle I didn’t own for a really long time – since I didn’t major in English in college or go to graduate school to be a writer.  I’m a late bloomer and when I started to write my first screenplay in the spring of 1992, I was 34 years old, unemployed, living unhappily and depressed in Cleveland, Ohio (no offense to that fine city).  I had quit my job as a claims adjuster (it was actually my 4th claims adjusting job – and sadly not the last), but one day I couldn’t take it anymore and just walked out of the office never to return – probably not my finest – or most responsible – hour.  I had always wanted to write and I loved movies often thinking I could write something like that (or more likely – I could do it better).  Finally it was put up or shut up, so I bought a screenwriting book and with blind beginner’s luck wrote my first screenplay in thirty days.  Not surprising that it was a thriller based on a protagonist who was an unhappy claims adjuster and found herself caught up in a murderous conspiracy and intrigue.  It was probably terrible, but I entered a screenwriting competition and made a decent showing, just enough to spur my efforts on.

Fast forward to the late 1990’s when the nascent idea for my first novel began to form, based on a protagonist who is unhappily enrolled in a prestigious university and flounders due to his personal life unraveling, not in small part to a burgeoning alcohol problem.  I wonder how I got that idea.  Ok, so like probably a lot of writers, I riffed off my own life, but the actual book turned into more of an adventure story with a whole cast of crazy characters and even crazier plot twists than the usual angst ridden coming of age novel, but then, I think I’m good at making things up.

One thought on “My Super Power

  1. The one thing I can say about growing up around you is that you are the most soft spoken, sensitive human being and very compassionte to everyone’s needs.I know this by experience.because I grew around you. I think having these qualities has made you a good writer.

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