ADD Makes Me a Better (and scatterbrained) Author

Gods how the time has flown. It seems like only yesteryear when last I wrote anything here… My apologies for the three month absence… and the inconsistency and irregularity of my bowel movements blog activity (is there really a difference?)

I have ADD. And I’m a truck driver. That might seem to some like a reason to switch to public transit but the disability that plagued my schooling is more of a tenuously controlled superpower when it comes to the parts of this adult life where I’m required to do monotonous tasks for long hours, often interspersed with periods of anxiety-inducing, high-risk, complex, multi-sensory tasks requiring the dexterity and coordination of a giant squid, during which failure can result in mass casualties.

The wonderful thing about ADD is that, despite my inability to catch a single thing you just said while I was tying my shoes, I can calculate pi to eleven places and come up with a great design for a book cover, all while smash-faced, unbelted toddlers and windshield fragments are flying through the air ahead of me, I’m maintaining a safe stopping distance, down shifting through 10 gears and working the brakes to prevent their locking up while a terrified Prius driver soils himself after jumping out two feet in front of my bumper.

Local haulage has been a suitable job for me because the pay is good, the scenery changes and I get enough regular sunlight to suppress the urge to kill myself. But it also gives me lots of free time, all alone with my own thoughts, often while sitting for hours in my bunk while waiting in dock. During which I like to write. And lately, given how unsuitable I find Southern Ontario for raising children, coupled with our urge to live somewhere colder, cleaner, wilder, and with far fewer people, I’ve been pushing myself to work a lot more on my novels in the hopes of eventually being able to quit driving and be with my family on our farm, homeschooling, farming with horses, hunting and fishing and basically reliving episodes of Little House but with far more gratuitous nudity and swearing.

The series to which I’ve been devoting my time has so far developed into four books. Why four, you ask? Why not just start with one and finish the goddamn thing before you move on to another? Because I abhor writer’s block and I find that even when I get stuck on one story line, I can still continue writing (profusely) another. It has its pitfalls. I sometimes have to stop developing one part of book until I can finish fleshing out a character or the relationship between characters in another. Sometimes that happens in the same novel, because I’m just working simultaneously on four different books, but I also have a tendency to write parts of the same novel out of sequence.

I also write numbers from right to left and sometimes every other number working from one direction and finishing them out in the opposite. Even I don’t understand my brain. I’ve just lived with it long enough to know how to work with it.

So, that’s why I haven’t written much here, but I promise to put shit up more frequently from now on. I’ve finally begun to re-write the beginning of the first book because I wasn’t happy with how it was unfolding and it didn’t match any of the others.

It’s a story about growing up in a world without hope, surrounded by drug abuse, poverty, stagnation and violence; about overcoming despair and a culture of helplessness and learning to become a man and taking control of your life; and it’s about learning to accept that you can’t protect someone from themself, that sometimes letting go of a person you love is the only way to save them. And it’s about learning to be independent and self-reliant in a very literal way as Nathan, seeking a better life, persuades the titular character, a girl who bullies him and makes his life miserable, to teach him how to live on the land.

And if that sounds boring, don’t worry, there’s plenty of sex and violence!

The book is called Kayla, and it’s the same one from which I posted an excerpt here last December, titled “Squirrels” and so, with the admitted intention of giving you a taste, like a dealer, here is the first thousand words or so.

The First 1069 Words of Kayla


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