My face was an inch from the wall and I was shouting my lines as fast and loud as seemed possible. “Faster,” came the command. “LOUDER!” I sent a hand down my red, television power tie, took a deep breath, and shot my lines as if I’d just landed on the French coast and either had to repel the Germans with my words or die on this horrible beach. I would have gladly had death.
HE WAS, quite simply, one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known.
Posted in Personal Essay, Wayne's Picks
Tagged 1970, 1970s, 1980, family, Memoir, Personal Essay, reflections, rememberance, the past, Writers, Writing
OTTAWA, 1999: my partner’s uncle shows me the program of a reunion, several years earlier, of Fort Erie Secondary School. Leafing through, I see a photo of a rugby team, taken in the year 1932-1933—the fourth of the school’s operations. In the background, the familiar school building. I discover my grandfather, Alfred Spear, in the front row, second from the right.
YEARS AGO, there was a subject in my high school that was called Home Economics. There may still be such a beast out there, for all I know, but in any case it was a discipline mandated for the girls, so I never experienced it. In the field of domestic science, I’m entirely of the self-made category of man.
WHEN I LOOK over my life, I see failures. You’ve heard the sayings: “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill), “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” (Thomas Edison), “we are all failures – at least the best of us are” (J.M. Barrie). The only alternative to failure is to not try, and once you’ve made that decision you’ve placed your chances of success in the realm of absolute certainty, at zero percent.
AT DINNER, my good friend Adrian M. Kelly (author of Down Sterling Road, which can he purchased here. Only one copy left!) observed that it’s difficult to make a living from serious writing.
Posted in Wayne's Picks, Writers and Writing
Tagged Adrian M. Kelly, Barry Manilow, Business, Creative Writing, Literature, Making a living, Money, Personal Essay, Poetry, Poets, Writers, Writing