I’m super excited about today’s guest post written by author Edward Lorn. His new book Dastardly Bastards is one that I really want to read as it sounds awesome! Check it out. Thanks Edward for kindly being on and letting me be part of the tour.
Writing: Gift or Curse?
I’ve spent my entire life focused on the human condition. I’m a people-watcher, always have been. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting around a coffee shop or my local Waffle House, studying the crowd around me. I learned early on that I have a knack for paying attention to more than one conversation at a time. For instance, I can listen to you talking to me from across the table, even join in and hold my own, but all the while I am listening to the couple behind me discuss their concerns over bringing a baby into such a seemingly violent, Godless world. My talent, gift, curse, whatever you want to call it, stems from being an only child of sorts (I have two sisters, but both were teenagers when I was born). Sure, I had my own television in my room attached to multiple video game consoles, shelves full of books I’d read and re-read countless times, sports equipment that sat in the corner mostly unused, but what really interested me were some of the conversations my parents would have when they thought I wasn’t paying attention. I would find myself playing a game or reading a book, and my parent’s voices would bleed in, drawing my attention. I could still remember the nuances of the level I’d just completed in my game, or the chapter I’d just read, but Mom and Dad’s back and forth would be there, too. I often used this tool while in school. Time and time again, I’d be talking to my friends when the teacher would call on me, certain that I hadn’t been paying attention. I’d answer the question and go back to my discussion about whether or not the next Sonic the Hedgehog game would be just as rad as the last one. My teachers remained frustrated with me, as I was distracting my friends from their studies, but I didn’t realize that until years later. I always thought, “What’s the big deal? I answered your question.” It passed right over my head that when my buddies were called on, they weren’t able to answer.
Now that I’m an author, I use my gift to my advantage. I can stare off into the distance, possibly looking like a fifth grader ruminating on quantum physics, while soaking up everything around me. In an instant, I can tell you exactly what table two ordered and how long they’ve been waiting. I know how table four’s meal tastes because the wife can’t shut up about how cheesy and greasy and oh, so tasty her hashbrowns are. I assume the couple at that last table are married because of the ring on her finger and the faux expression on the man’s face. He’s trying to look interested in his wife’s hashbrowny-goodness, but he’s failing miserably. The waitress has hurt her ankle during her cigarette break. She wasn’t limping or reeking of menthol the last time I saw her. There’s a wet floor sign next to the swinging door that allows entrance to the back room. I assume someone mopped something up, and she just didn’t pay any attention to it. She is worried about her kids, after all. She told the people in the corner booth that much while filling their coffee. “How old’s your boy? Five? My son’s his age, and he’s twice your boy’s size. Maybe I should get him checked, huh?” She laughs about this, but there are nerves present. I think, “Maybe you should stop feeding your kid Waffle House for dinner if you’re worried about his girth.” This I know because she told David, the cook, not to forget to make her son’s plate before he clocks out. David knows just how—Kirk? Kirt? Kurt? I don’t know because of the lady’s accent—likes his grilled cheese with ham and onions, and oh, don’t forget the extra butter on the toast because Ithaca always screws up and forgets the extra butter, then, poor Kirk? Kirt? Kurt? gets mad, and her night is shot. I don’t know who Ithaca is. I know she’s probably named after a city in New York and possibly cooks on David’s nights off. The writer in me knows that much.
I know I’m going to write about them when I get home. This gift, curse, talent, whatchamacallit doesn’t allow me to do any differently. Because if I don’t write it down, that waitress, along with Kirk? Kirt? Kirk?, David, Ithaca, Hasbrown-Lover, Absent-Faced Hubby, even the fact that table two never did get their meal while I was still sitting there will run rampant in my mind. I’ll toss and turn to the dulcet tones of some child wailing about not having enough butter on his Texas toast while his mother ices her ankle and puffs on a Newport. I don’t know if the waitress/mother is a drinker, but in my mind, she is. There’s a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the folding dinner tray next to her recliner. The man alongside her and Kirk? Kirt? Kurt? in the picture on the mantel is nowhere to be found, but she still toasts the celluloid and says she misses him. The boy looks a lot like him. This makes her smile.
Though my way of seeing things can be a burden, I keep coming back for more. I suppose I’m just a glutton for punishment because I’ll still show up at the coffee shop tomorrow, or maybe I’ll go back to that Waffle House just to see what shenanigans people are up to. I’m addicted, and as with any addiction, there are highs and lows. I stay for the good and write about the bad.
Maybe you’ll join me. I’d love to hear what you think about how my brain works. Shoot, tell me how your brain works. Let’s have a discussion. I’m really easy to find.
Oh, and before you go, try one of my books. I think you’d like Dastardly Bastard. I had a lot of fun with those characters. Hopefully, I’ll see you again soon.
Dastardly Bastards is his most recent release