Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Why don't you write a book about your life, Jon?

Easier said than done, Kemo Sabe.
I've been a published writer since I was sixteen and have written things in many genres (that's a word I dislike, but I'll use it). I feel reasonably comfortable writing about any subject - - - anything but myself.

It's not always easy to be objective about oneself, or brutally honest, or totally open. As a fiercely private person, I often astonish myself at the things I reveal in this blog. And, trust me, what I reveal is selective and delivered with caution. Usually.

I fully believe that there is a book in everybody, with interesting stories to be told. We're all unique in our own way. We are all only as boring as we choose to be. When we carefully reflect on our lives, it's surprising how many intriguing incidents we can extract.

I initially never thought of myself as being unique or interesting. I considered my life to be rather bland and mundane. Certainly not worthy of a book.

I started to really ponder my past and all the things I've done, the adventures I had. In retrospect, I've been privileged (and perhaps damned) to have had a colorful, unique, and unusual existence. Book worthy? Mmmmm......I dunno.

Jon, are you purposefully being modest, or are you ruefully manipulating your readers for sympathy and encouragement?


You've known famous people, have hobnobbed with the wealthy and privileged. You've slummed with junkies and hookers, and had a turbulent affair with an ex-con. You've performed as soloist with a symphony orchestra, lived on the beach in Baja, were chased by a mountain lion in Nevada. A very wealthy woman wanted to marry you. Another woman's jealous husband threatened to kill you in a very public place. You lived with a Hollywood actor, and had a tryst with a famous movie director in the  Beverly Hills Hotel. You knew a gay porno movie director and attended orgies at his house. You've survived your abusive father. You've battled alcohol, several nervous collapses, alarmingly self-destructive tendencies, a profound inferiority complex, and panic attacks that would have frightened Freud. 
Your life is worthy of a book.

You're very convincing, Kemo Sabe. And you've only scratched the surface.  
(there's always an inevitable "but", isn't there?) 
Here's why I'm hesitant to reveal all in a book:

Describing my real life, with real events and real people is extremely risky. And I mean extremely.

If I name names of people still living (or even people now dead) there is the possibility - or, rather, the inevitability - of law suits. If I change names and fictionalize, it's a HUGE copout. When you put it all down, indelibly, on paper, it's raw bait for shark attacks.

Even in my blog I am purposefully evasive about many details in my life. Revealing too much is always a risk. 

And then there are the armchair nitpickers, who love to point out errors and mistakes. 
If I say that I was at the Blue Parrot Bar on 4th Street in 1985, somebody will inevitably inform me that it was the Blue Flamingo Bar on 3rd Street, which closed in 1984. 

Fortunately, my memory is incredibly sharp and I make very few mistakes.
So, there you have it, Geronimo.

I'm Kemo Sabe.

Oh. Sorry.   

In conclusion (and not a moment too soon) - - yes, I want to write this memoir, publish it, and unleash myself to an unsuspecting world.  

And I do have one important thing in my favor:
I've spent most of my life worrying about what other people think, catering to everybody's whims, bending over backwards to please (nothing sexual implied), and constantly discounting myself.

I've finally come to the point where I don't give a shit what others think. I have nothing to lose.  

Now, please excuse me, while I start making a list of suitable actors who could portray me in the movie version...... 



  1. I think everybody has an interesting background and past. It's always interesting when its not your life. But yeah, you and I have alot in common, although no one has threatened to kill Cruella Deville here. Yet. I would most definitely purchase your book.

  2. Jon,

    I have had people urge me to write my audobiography and always said no, much for the reason you stated _- I didn't like to talk about myself, at least not without some sort of disguise, and I am a pretty private person. besides I argued, I have been writing all my life, read my stories and you'll have read my life. Of course that is not exactly true. Many of my stories have been based upon events in my life, but they are still a disguise. This ongoing memoir on my Blog is not a disguise, but I titled the overall document, "Impressions of My Life", because that is what we see of our own life, an impression through our own eyes. I might write the truth, but the eyes of another may see a different truth. Now I am battling how much to tell because my life involves the lives of others and I hate to offend anyone, but how do you write honestly and not offend somebody. I am also wrestling with how much to tell about the darker side of myself. Frankly, you probably had a much more interesting life than I, but I think I've had a more interesting life than some of the biographies I have read of famous people. So anyway, I am saying go ahead and write your life story and have fun doing it.


  3. I hope you will, Jon.
    When - and only when - you feel wholly comfortable doing so.

    A few years back when we attended my first (and only) college football game, there was more than a little controversy whether the much maligned Cam Newton would be permitted to take the field. Then, seemingly as one, Auburn's student section began singing, "Lean on Me."
    Taking the long way around to my point, I guess I'm trying to say, we've got your back!

  4. Write it before details fade, before meaning homogenizes. Most of us have unglamorous memories. I too have always had a retentive memory, but today it took me 5 hours to get a Husqvarna Hu775bbc self-propelled mower to fire up. When I worked as a gardener, people would bring me their power tools and I'd get them running halfway thru my lunch hour --for perks and favors. Only difference is mechanical details have left me in the 7 years since retirement. I didn't notice until now. Keep good notes and work from them. Most people would delight in your autobiography and be improved by it, but don't forget to include yourself in it --I mean your wonderful poetry too.

  5. Jon,
    Everyone who has lived a life has an interesting story to tell. The only difference is that many do not have the writing skills to make that happen. You do. I understand your reluctance to reveal too much personal information about your life out of concern for others still living and those relatives of those who are dead. For instance (and I can write this because I know my cousins probably won't read this comment) my Mother related an incident to me where one of my Uncles who used to live with us temporarily got angry at my Mother because he wouldn't iron his shirt. He spat on her. She told him she would tell my father when he came home from work. She did and he threw out my uncle. To this day his daughters have never spoken to my Mother, even to go as far as ignoring her at a funeral. And this Jon is just ONE story of my past. So many from both sides of my family and so many families have these stories which I find interesting. I think one day, and that time is coming soon, I may write my story anyway and the hell with what anyone thinks. So what? They don't mean anything to my life now anyway, especially now since I am estranged from both my brothers and their families. And the reasons for both of those estrangements are more interesting stories. Go ahead and write your story Jon. Reserve one of those books for me!

  6. I would definitely read your memoir. I am amazed by people who can recall details from their past. I used to read a blog written by a guy called "Magazine Man." He wrote the best stories about growing up. My memories wouldn't even fill a chapter. Might I suggest you publish your story as fiction, names changed of course. That way your story could be told without the fear of anyone being hurt.

    1. Sylvia Plath did this with The Bell Jar. She just changed all the names, but it's pretty obvious the best selling book (made into a movie) is all about her and the people in her life. I think you should go for it! I know I'd like to take a very long peek :-)

  7. I'll pay good money for your autobiography

  8. what I could write about my life would fill one page. mos def not enough to sell a book.

  9. I think everyone who reads your blog would unanimously support the idea of you writing your memoirs... and we would all buy and love, it. Just a thought: if you're concerned about the threat of potential lawsuits, it might be a good idea to talk to a lawyer with expertise in the field. You know, just to cover your butt a little.


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