We walked down the steps, into her cellar, and the musty smell of mold and old books was overwhelming; she had lined the walls with shelves, filled the room with bookcases, weathered spines leered in from every corner and shadow. "It's sad to think," she sighed and wilted, "I don't have enough time left to read them all again."
I moved from a hovel located in one of the seedier parts of Sacramento, where my little condo was usually graced with an overturned shopping cart (not mine), to a house on an abandoned goldmine in the foothills below the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. At times it's hard to believe the same indifferent sun shines down on both of these locations, but I've witnessed it.
Inspiration whispers to me in fragments, ghosts of everything I've read, bits and pieces: Gertrude Stein, Thomas Hardy, John Saul, John Cheever, Phillip Roth, Flannery O'Connor, Clive Barker, Stephen King, e.e. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, and a few hundred other writers. I spend insomnia fueled evenings listening to imaginary rats arguing in the walls, the mornings drinking coffee and scribbling down their angry words, and the rest of the day writing budget change proposals for the State (some of the most electric fiction I pen).
I've written in newspapers (The Santa Maria Times & Sacramento Today ), edited publications (Sacramento Today and the defunct Magpie), and teach composition classes at Sierra College and Folsom Lake College. I graduated with a master's degree in literature from California State University, Sacramento where I won a Bazanella award for fiction.
There's more to come, more words to place in neat stacks of constructed verbiage and new friends to create between the punctuation. I'll find out who they are and together we'll see what they do!