Read. Dream. Write. Repeat.

When I was small, some kindly people in my family read to me. Winnie the Pooh. Wind in the Willows with the irrepressible, irresponsible Toad of Toad Hall–I met some like him in advertising. Wild Animals I Have Known, Ernest Seton Thompson. The Jungle Book. And they took me to movies: Bambi, Fantasia, Snow White. Fantasia was psychedelic to my young brain–what a trip. I veered off into comics.

Comics and more comics. Mind-warping stuff. The Spirit, Vigilante, Air Boy, Green Lantern, The Shadow, the list is long and loathsome to those who would shape a boy’s life. I did read Boy’s Life, but only because I was absorbing everything in print. No TV back then. Just imagine. (That’s what we did: just imagine. And it was mind-stretching.) Then I picked up anything around the house and read it: Angels Camp, a pulp paperback about juvenile delinquents. Eye opener. Mind opener. Books by JP Marquand. Edna Ferber. Scott Fitzgerald. McGuane and Didion and Capote later on. And the obsession just grew. So did the writing. Imitative until I found a voice. Just try and stop me.

 

Editor’s Note: Guinotte Wise’s essay, Forget it Jake, It’s Hollywood, recently appeared here in Litbreak Magazine.