Who am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from?
The fact is…
I was born in a log cabin that I built with my own two hands.
I rose from the foam of a wine-dark sea, my body silken smooth and beautiful and smelling of lilacs.
I crash-landed on this planet as an infant, the last survivor of a doomed world.
I sprang fully formed from the forehead of the King of the Gods.
I was bitten by a radioactive spider.
My origins are shrouded in mystery.
My birth and eduction are a matter of public record.
I was born to a half-scrap of a woman who didn’t want me and wouldn’t have kept me if she’d been paid to do it.
I was the apple of my father’s eye.
I grew up hungry… hungry and cold.
I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
I was weak and sickly as a child, regularly trapped in my room for weeks on end by a series of grave illnesses, having only my Chaucer, my Shakespeare and my Pope for company.
I was strong as an ox and clever as a fox, and when you got that on your side, brother, you don’t suffer for the lack of book learnin’.
I matured slowly, and with great difficulty. I was never what you might call a “ladies man”.
I had ‘em lined up from the seventh grade onward, and that’s no joke. Trust me, I learned early on that chicks really dig a nice smile, a good line of bullshit and double-jointed thumbs.
I was a sensitive plant. I was a delicate flower. I was imbued with an innate appreciation for the finer vibrations of the human soul.
I could drink longer, punch harder, belch louder, and piss further than any other man in the Yukon.
All of these literary aspects of my origin, these truths and these lies, this self-created and self-sustaining mythology… these are where I come from. At one time or another, I was all of these things, in whole or in part. I am made up of the books I read, those I chose for myself and those pushed at me.
I am, and have always been, made of words.
Skills and abilities were laid across my brow when I was born, some in great measure, some as only a glimmering. Language and thought, yes, but more importantly, I was born with a deep capacity for both compassion and loathing. Directed either towards others or toward myself, I have exercised both of these with great energy throughout my life. They fuel almost everything I do, including my writing.
I’ve been writing steadily for twenty years or so. I started to keep from going crazy. Hundreds of thousands of words, spilled out in notebooks and journals. Private episodes of self-examination intended for no one’s eyes but my own, interesting thought pieces written for public consumption, and then later a series of trivial blogs, short fiction, long fiction, serial fiction and, throughout it all, poetry from the shallow end of the pool. This writing, this flood of words–it’s how I calm the buzz of thoughts that crowd my mind in every waking hour. It’s not quite hypergraphia, as almost all of it is coherent, but it is like a pressure relief valve that lets me function. I write because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be fit to live with.
Of course, while that fundamental fact remains as true now as it was when I first discovered writing, I’ll admit that I’ve moved up the motivational ladder a bit since I first began. Now, I not only want to write to improve MY life, I want to write to improve YOUR life. My stories can be funny and interesting. Odds are, you’d probably like them. Since I decided to start sharing my stories, they’ve gotten progressively better.
So to wrap this up, let me re-introduce myself: Tony Noland, writer, blogger, sometime editor and part-time poet.