Coffee With Stephen King

Dad says the sun never stops shining.

Picture by Matthew Bowden

Dear Stephen,

It has been a while since I last wrote you. I apologize for that but I have been busy. Man oh man could I tell you stories about the crazy shit that has been going on in my world.

I don’t mean for that to sound like my life is tougher than others because there are lots of people who have bigger challenges than I do. But that doesn’t relieve me of my own challenges nor does it pay the bills. We all have our own crap to deal with and well…my demons are still pretty serious motherfuckers for me.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of my business because I always do but there are moments in time when it is harder than others. Sometimes that is because the particular challenge is bigger than other moments and sometimes it is because I am being attacked by more than one at once.

I am still a young buck so I like to think that when things get tough it is because I am standing in front of a door armed with a broadsword and a bad attitude. The path is too narrow for more than one to pass so I just have to handle the ten thousand orcs, ghouls and goblins that are itching to do a little dance with me. Got to tell you Stephen, that there are moments where I think it might be nice to have a little of that magic that Gandalf wields or maybe to be like Magneto.

Although if I am going to throw in the pop culture and comic book references I should just say that I’d rather be Wolverine. Give me Adamantium claws, some healing ability and I am good.

Wolverine, a.k.a. Weapon X (Weapon Ten)

Wolverine, a.k.a. Weapon X (Weapon Ten) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been watching this clip from Scent of a Woman because I really enjoy it. Al Pacino gives this great speech that is worth noting, at least in terms of this letter.

“Out of order, I show you out of order. You don’t know what out of order is, Mr. Trask. I’d show you, but I’m too old, I’m too tired, I’m too fuckin’ blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I’d take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do you think you’re talkin’ to? I’ve been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you’re merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are… executin’ his soul!”

Man oh man, I could write a thousand words and then some about this speech but I am going to focus on two areas. First, I don’t want to ever catch myself saying things like “If I were the man I was five years ago” because that guy is gone. He is not dead but he is not here anymore and the man that is writing this letter is the one that has to live with what is happening today.

Sure, I could say that guy had it easier because in some ways he did but he is also responsible for what this guy is doing today. He gets the credit and the blame but mostly credit because that past is what makes it possible for me to live today. That past is part of why I relate to the comment about an amputated spirit because man I took one hell of a beating and for a while I wondered what it would take to pull apart the wreckage and find daylight again.

But the thing is that it never quite got to that point.  There were moments where it was rough and times where I wanted to scream. Maybe I did. But I never let go or stopped holding on to those few things that kept me heading north.


Since you last didn’t write me I have made a lot of progress on that book I am working on.I think that I am close to finishing the first draft and then the hard editing will begin. There is this moment that takes place at a Alligator Farm in Israel that I kind of like.

Yes, I just wrote Alligator Farm In Israel. It really exists. You should see the looks on peoples faces when they hear about it. Half the time they have just finished asking me if I rode a camel to get from place to place or if I was ever worried about getting shot. That alligator farm just blows them away, not to mention that they have these great natural hot springs there.

Anyway I have to tell you that I am a bit disappointed that I have been sitting here drinking coffee by myself. Well, I am not really alone. I am a writer and my characters are all hanging out with me. I am guessing that you understand that. And of course since I am in Los Angeles I am surrounded by a million other writers/actors/actresses etc.

Although I sort of suspect that the chick in the corner is probably one of those adult actresses if you know what I mean. I don’t really know if that is true but it does remind me of the this time at band camp.

Got to run and return to the real world. There is a soccer game, birthday party and chores to attend to today. Keep me posted on your progress and I’ll do the same. Just remember the next cup is on you.

See you next time.


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  1. Adrienne March 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I agree with everyone so far Jack, your writing keeps us coming back for more.

    Your imagination is something I wish I had and I have no doubt you and Jens will be releasing your first novel soon. Thank goodness yours will be in English (hint hint Jens). 🙂

    Best to you Jack and keep em coming.

    • Jack March 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you. I think you probably have a better imagination than you realize. Some of this is nothing more than practice.

      Do it frequently and it becomes easier.

  2. Jens P. Berget March 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Wow, Stephen King, Aligator farms and soccer game. Awesome 🙂

    Very creative. This is exactly what I enjoy reading…

    Thanks a lot. How’s your novel coming alone.

    • Jack March 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you sir. Novel is coming along, I think I am getting close to having a first draft.

      Still lots of work to do, but this is progress. How about yours?

  3. Bill Dorman March 26, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Ok, you started it; I want to hear the band camp story….and we have alligator farms too…..

    So, the book is cookin’, huh? I guess the major hurdle is getting the first draft to a place it can even be edited, huh? Good luck keeping it moving forward.

    Hope your weekend was well; talk to you soon.

  4. mickey eros March 26, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Jack,i am fascinated with your imagination, some of those things are fictional,but in your mind they exist, i am looking forward that someday, with that imagination of yours you can create a book.good luck:)

  5. Lori Gosselin March 26, 2012 at 2:53 am

    It’s passages like this: ” man I took one hell of a beating and for a while I wondered what it would take to pull apart the wreckage and find daylight again.” that keep me coming back here Jack. That and ” I am not really alone. I am a writer and my characters are all hanging out with me.”
    Coffee with Stephen King – I see a book in that kind of format. Imagine writing about your life as it gets bounced in imagination off one of your heros. I guess that’s what you’re doing. Book, though. Possibility?

    • Jack March 26, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Hi Lori,

      It is good to see you. Thank you for the compliment, I really appreciate it.

      I have had a few thoughts about writing a different book using the same idea that you mentioned there.

      It should be kind of fun.

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