A Cup of Coffee With Stephen King
It has been years since the last note and I still haven’t heard from you about that cup of coffee.
Don’t know if it is because you never got the message or if you are too busy reading through the ten thousand posts here, could be both, could be neither.
I don’t know if it matters. I am too busy reading She Still Dances and thinking about how my daughter used to dance with me to The Godfather Waltz and how now she refuses.
She still dances with me, but not to that song any more. I don’t tell her that sometimes I miss the days when she was truly little and her dark eyes were hidden under a mop of curls.
I would pick her up and twirl her around and sometimes she would fall asleep on my shoulder and I would listen to her softly snore in my ear and melt.
Endless Blog Fodder
I have been thinking about that conversation we never had and some of the things I shared in it.
“And fodder is something that a writer never throws away. We simply stuff it in the garage and save it for future use. My garage is crammed full of pictures, videos and memories and there is always room for more.”
It is three years since I wrote those words and while the physical garage I spoke about there is no longer mine the mental one is overflowing with pictures and videos I took of moments.
Some of those moments have no meaning to anyone but I and some are things that only a few would appreciate. But there are other moments I could share and I know others would appreciate them.
Sometimes I think about pulling back the curtains and opening it all up, exposing all of the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes I wonder if that is not the best way for a writer. Sometimes I wonder if we have to rip off the scabs and expose our pain again and again so that our readers will respond.
And when I think about those moments I wonder why we can’t do that with the joy too. I end up having some interesting conversations with myself about whether sorrow plays better than joy or if the best is a blend of both.
You’ll forgive me Stephen for indulging in some more words and thoughts about the past.
The fear of getting what you want
Stephen, did you ever suffer from the fear of getting what you want. Some of the boys definitely suffer from it. They sabotage their dreams and cry. It makes me scream. I gnash my teeth in rage and ask them why they would do that. Why donâ€™t they believe that they deserve to live their dreams.
And sometimes in the quiet of the night I wonder if it is not them who sabotage their dreams but me. Maybe I am the one who is creating the issues that prevent my getting what I want. It would be a classic case of being my own worst enemy. If Jack is a superhero he needs an arch nemesis to do battle with. Why not make it me. Who knows me better than me.
She Runs Too
In a while my daughter and I will head out to the soccer fields. Â We’ll go practice for the coming game and she’ll challenge me to another race but she won’t win.
Oh my girl is fast, she has wheels. I was surprised to see how fast she is but she is not quite tall enough nor am I quite old enough yet for those legs to move faster than mine so I will win.
This isn’t one of those moments where I will let her beat me. If it happens she needs to earn it as does her brother but I can see the light in my day is dwindling and the sunset is coming,
There will be a time when I am no longer faster. Part of me is thrilled by the idea of their growth and part of me dreads that time. Maybe it is because I am not ready for the changes I think come with that time.
Do you ever blog Stephen? Do you have some sort of diary that hide under your bed or keep where you can revisit and or add to your words?
That is one of the things I like about this place. Sometimes I read the old posts and cringe because I think the writing was awful or sometimes it is because the words take me back to moments that are hard to revisit. But sometimes those hard moments are like mile markers that glow in the dark and remind me that even though I am seeing them again the experience is not the same.
I can only tell you that I think that I have to walk through hell for a bit longer but I am going to get to where I need to go.
It is going to happen because I am too damn stubborn not to make it happen. It is going to happen because one day I will forgive myself for that which needs to be forgiven and because some things canâ€™t be stopped, only delayed.
Maybe it is ego. Maybe that is why I am not ready for the kids to beat me in a race. Does that make sense to you Stephen?
My son’s endurance is already better than mine. If it is a distance run he will beat me but that doesn’t bother me because I have never been a distance runner and he loves it.
I love it is something that he has that isn’t tied to me. He should have his own thing.
I should wrap this up. I am sure you have books to read or write and as do I. But before we go since I have opened up the closet doors I’ll mention that when I open up that garage I keep seeing my hammer.
Some people might suspect that means I see my problems as nails that need to be pounded but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. I am in favor of pounding the right things when necessary but my hammer can be usedÂ in other ways and for other things too.
That utility comes in large part from being a writer and not being limited to linear thinking or tactile applications of thought. I have all of those things and more at my disposal.
What say you Stephen?
kdwald October 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm
My in-laws live near Bangor, and this summer I had the pleasure of driving past King’s house. He’s truly a down-to-earth and community oriented person, well-deserving of your attention.
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 6:35 am
@disqus_ddBy4mHhzi:disqus I have heard that about him. It is part of why I want to have coffee with him. He strikes me as someone who would be easy to speak with.
Vanessa D October 12, 2014 at 8:21 am
Is it sorrow that plays better than joy, or the triumph over sorrow? I’ve often wondered these things myself.
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 6:34 am
@disqus_EN5Hysu7Yu:disqus Someone has probably done a study and can give a definitive answer but I am guessing that it is subjective.
Larry October 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm
I keep going to my garage – I wish it more full. I need more material.
Sometimes, I think I have the fear of getting what I want.
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 6:33 am
@Lardavbern:disqus I bet you have more material than you realize. Sometimes the stuff we think is ordinary is much more interesting than we realize.
Jens-Petter Berget October 11, 2014 at 9:22 am
Awesome! btw. do you have a favorite author?
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 6:33 am
@berget:disqus That is a good question. I have to think about it. I have many favorites, Tolkien, Twain, Eddings, Donaldson, King is in there somewhere.
Jens-Petter Berget October 13, 2014 at 11:43 am
Let me know if you’d recommend any books for me. I’m always looking for new books to read.
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 11:54 am
@berget:disqus I really enjoyed King’s books “On Writing,” “11/22/63” and “The Stand” to name a few.
Jens-Petter Berget October 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm
I’ve read “on writing”, but not the other two. Thanks!
Natalie the Singingfool October 10, 2014 at 5:01 pm
I love this post. I love the conversational tone, the images of your kids and memories, and I love that you’re writing to King. I devoured his books as a teenager, so of course they hold a special place in my heart.
The JackB October 13, 2014 at 6:32 am
@nataliethesingingfool:disqus Thank you. I love writing like this but I am never certain how well it plays for the reader. I read a lot of Stephen King as a teenager too, it is when I first got into him as a writer.