I read Poe's Tell-Tale Heart early in those days before I noticed the writing. It was his theme that even as a child I was drawn to, how beautiful a statement we could not escape our own minds. We could and inevitably would drive our own selves mad. Crimes of self were crimes against humanity. He led me past Blume's Superfudge into a notion of deeper waters and never distracted me with his words though they weren't the ones I normally read. This was writing.
My William Faulkner affair, also termed the dark days of deciphering, became a search for that one paragraph long sentence among ten pages of such which would make me stop. Read again. Draw a picture in my mind and endear me to a character of which I felt I shared blood. His language and rambling thoughts felt like a long lost relative so I struggled, persisted, went to his place and saw where he wrote on the walls. I became close to him and then let him go but I will always remember our time together and be thankful for what we shared.
Hemingway and me, a short affair which seems fitting since it was always about economy anyway.
Oh McMurtry, he built Gus and took him away. I try not to resent him for this. Good job, Larry, damn it.
Spong, Grisham, Lamott, Morrison, Salinger, Fitzgerald, Gilbert, writers and their work always seemed to mark a time in space and travel.
Hunter S. Thompson, I loved in the sickest way. He still saves me in the most desperate of times.
It wasn't until Cormac entered my life on happenstance that I stopped writing for a while. He shut me down and told me I had things to learn so I gave up and began studying like a feign. Now when I type I do so in a defeat of I'll never be there. I had to give up, bow to what that was and decide I'd do it anyway. Maybe that's what he taught me. Maybe McCarthy said you'll never learn everything so just write what you think you know but never lie about what you feel.