Writing in the Afternoon covers three areas of my life which are interconnected. The work I share here is meant to be more than mere service journalism -- a numbered list of things you should know or do. I want it to be a relatable, light, self-deprecating, and poignant look at the life of a writer approaching mid-life who also has two sons to raise.
Here's a look at what you'll find on Writing in the Afternoon:
The writing life
It's neither glamorous nor is it depressing. It's not exactly what you see on Pinterest nor is it worth drowning in absinthe ala Hemingway style.
It is, however, a life. Some days it has purpose, others pass by seemingly without direction. The writing life is one with a mixed bag of emotions and experiences.
Writing in the Afternoon pulls back the curtain to reveal what the #writinglife is all about. You see the hashtags on Twitter and on Instagram and more than enough people who proclaim it as an Writing in the Afternoon, I reveal what it's really like.
Take coffee, for instance. Every writer at some point shares a brilliantly lit photo of a cup of coffee and on Instagram extols the virtue of our favorite drink. I'm a writer, and I love coffee because my lifestyle as a writer is so coffee-shop glamorous!
Blech. Such a cliche writer thing to do. I'll admit to drinking too much coffee, leaving me with an acidy dehydrated sensation and the jitters, but hell, I'm caffeinated and writing 4,000 words today.
That's what the #writinglife is like.
To my children's future therapist -- I'm getting them ready.
I've told my boys when they whine or demand Honey Nut Cheerios instead of the flavorless version in the yellow box that they do not live in a democracy. Democracy is what happens outside the borders of our house and yard.
Instead, in our house, they live in a benevolent dictatorship.
Get those notebooks ready, therapists.
Causing Dad'mage is a regular feature here on Writing in the Afternoon and is my take on fatherhood.
I highlight the lighthearted, the messiness, and the poignant moments of raising two young boys while trying to maintain some sense of sanity.
What I've learned is no matter how many experts write books, no matter how much life experience we have before it starts, there's no singular way to do this whole parenting thing.
I'm no expert. I just want to make you laugh, cringe, and feel like you're not alone on your parenting journey.
Sometimes the experts are right. I'll admit it. But sometimes it's about going with our instincts because the best thing that prepares us for being parents is the fact that we once were kids. We remember our own parents and all their ups and downs.
Stories Behind The Stories
Every memoir reveals just enough of itself to intrigue the reader.
A full life is really hard to fit into a book, not to mention several people's lives. Our job as a memoirist is to tell a full story, but maybe not jam so many details and scenery the reader figures streaming a show on Hulu is a better option.
On Writing in the Afternoon, I'll update readers on my progress toward writing a full-length memoir, and I share stories-behind-the-stories, taking readers deeper into the context of the narrative.
The story I'm telling sweeps from the open waters of the Pacific to post-war Cincinnati, from dewy cemeteries to sun-soaked railroad tracks. It's about the alleged abduction of a baby, and 60 years later, the attempt to reunite him with the mother he lost.
A lot of people populate my book, people who have intriguing narratives or lives full of context that must be cut from the book, but make good reading nonetheless. You'll meet them here.