I was bartending at the time, earning more money than I really deserved. The bar was across the street from the harbor. Apart from the local crowd, the bar catered to the out-of-town yuppies on their way to or from sport-fishing trips, and the uber-wealthy who’d get tanked on their sailboats in the morning and stop by for a drink after coming ashore, still rocking on their sea-legs. Rich old men don’t like to get cut off by the snotty-nosed bartender.
Two Dollar Radio
I don’t write with an outline or any kind of plan; I like the reckless discovery of surprising myself with each plot point. Of course, this leads to lots of wrong turns–maybe why I have to revise so much–but I dig that wanton, blind strategy of building story without any scaffolding around it.
I was one of those high school students who thought reading was bullshit. And books like “Red Badge of Courage”, “Ethan Frome”, and “Pride and Prejudice” weren’t helping my opinion that literature was pretentious and stuck up. I didn’t want any part of the canon, if it was comprised of stilted and boring narratives. Or as Bukowski put it in his introduction to John Fante’s “Ask the Dust”: “…nothing I read related to me or to the streets or to the people about me.”
Joshua Mohr’s debut, “Some Things That Meant the World to Me,” is a gritty debut worth getting excited about. You may have seen the coverage of this in Poets & Writers this spring—and BTW, thanks P&W for always including an indie when you do your seasonal coverage! STTMTWTM (okay, this is not a book which lends itself well to acronyms) is the story of a man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization as a result of childhood trauma.
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