Finishing Mr. Copacabana has changed the direction of my life. Like everything cherished, it has a season, and that season has now passed for me. Hopefully, it is now with you for a time. Tell me how you find it.
I’ll be the keynote speaker at the Coeur D’Alene Charter Academy in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho on April 12th.
I’ll be speaking on The Writer’s Life and Work to the students and faculty of this “Top 100” high school in the US. My brother, Dr. Bill Proser, is now the renowned educator behind the academy but I remember him as the doting older brother who recited “Call me Ishmael.” and “T’was brillig in the slithy toves…” to my younger brother Timmy and me.
We thought he was jabbering nonsense to confuse and torment us, but soon came to realize he was just delighting in the sensation of genius on his own tongue. Not only were we safe during his reveries, we were soon enchanted as he rolled snippets and soliloquies out in front of us with obvious delight.
Sonnets of love “..how shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…” came soon after and soon he was himself in love with a young girl of summer, his now wife, Dee.
Timmy immediately caught the emotion of ecstasy and developed a running and flapping bird dance while shouting, “Blue JAY! Blue JAY!” He was 9 and enthralled with his first love of words. He lifted us all into childhood ecstasy with him as he ran in circles, twirled and sang his heart out, in his little boy’s sonnet to the birds.
All my life I’ve only had one ambition and that was to be a great writer like Hemingway or Philip Roth or Vonnegut. I’ve been distracted a lot, by sex, by friends, by sex with friends, by movies, by deaths of loved ones. These all took time – years.
Now I see how I’ve lost focus and how I’ve been discouraged. These too, took time. So I’ve paired my life down to one woman, one business and fewer friends. I look at my few achievements and I am gratified that I’ve accomplished even the little I have but the past “hangs on me like chains” as Orson Welles once said after his second personal bottle of wine at lunch.
I have stories, so many more than I could ever tell and now a bit more time to tell them. If I can just lift these chains a bit to free my hands.