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  • #16
    I joined 13 years ago next month. Since then, I've gotten and stayed married (11 years in June); watched my daughters (from my first marriage) grow up to become confident, poised young women; managed to keep my job and (I hope) get better at it; and make what feels like substantial progress on a book. I'm less of a mess now than I was when I first joined here, in that I think I have a better handle on why I was a mess.

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    • #17
      I've been thinking about it, but I still don't know.

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      • #18
        I joined not long after my first interview with MZD in ’10. I was turned onto him, like many, by the words of Chuck Palahniuk, an author I adore but have seemed to outgrow (I’m in my early 40s now, so, there’s that – though Fight Club will always represent more than an amazing book amazingly timed for me and my life: it is more of a pivot/fulcrum that appeared at a very crucial point in my existence) and whom I wrote for a bit on his website, as well as helped out with some editing and moderating in the Chuckshop. Anyhow, I fell in total and reckless love with of Leaves (I buy a new copy each year, read it, write in it, devour it and still take away something new every time), defended like a rabid soccer mom (it isn’t for everybody, but for those it is for, it is wholly for), and pestered librarians across multiple time zones to get access to a Dutch printing of The Fifty Year Sword (how meta is it that the short story is this bladelike, quick, flashy little thing?) I have since conducted a second interview with him, for The Millions, quit my day job in the wine business proper, and now write full time on the subject of wine for Wine Spectator, albeit as a freelancer. I am constantly writing my own fiction, on the 2nd in series of 4 (a trilogy and one book as a “key” if you will) and will forever be indebted to this author who once, some say cockily, (though with complete and total evidence to back it up) said his books were not CDs, they were instruments. I have learned to love that quote, to take it up as a personal challenge like some sort of qualifier Oulipo members might self-inflict. Being here, with like-minded people who “get” his work as well as react with inspiration at the reading of it to create their own little leaf s, has been incredibly gratifying. Geeking out about ARCs and codes and meanings and the breadcrumb trail we get between releases has been if nothing else a satisfying distraction from the daily job in non-fiction, where there is little need for speculation (at least in my field) but more about the shared gratification of like minds devoted to a task: of chewing each page of his novels 20 times before moving on.

        Personally, I’ve grown. I too have gained weight and lost it. Went through a back surgery and am back to riding my bike ~100 miles a week. Still have the hair, though waaaay more graaaay. Still enjoy trying a wine I’ve never had before, still enjoy travelling with my best friend and wife of 11 years, and my pleasantly challenging daughter of 15 years who continually defies the teenage stereotype to me and anyone who gets to know her. Looking forward to our future plans that will in all likelihood involve a move to New Zealand – these plains of North Texas truly are morally challenging.

        I feel I am better for having read his books, and by extension better for having been a part of these forums and the people who make them up. Looking forward to many years of speculation and conversation.

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        • #19
          I'm less of an asshole, too. Mustn't forget that.

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          • #20
            I'm still thinking about it, and I still don't know.

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            • #21
              I"m old now! It's OK, I still have hair. But I think the question is, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Answer: Costa Rica.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by consider us dead View Post
                Well... I joined over a decade ago - I would have been 18 at the time - and, fortunately I think, I've calmed down a little from the bolshy whippersnapper who barged in here spouting histrionically that Johnny Truant (the Brighton based metalcore band who, in fact, lead me to HoL) would be suitable accompanying music whilst reading. This would have been just prior to heading off to university where I tried and failed to hold a long distance relationship together, inevitably had my heart stomped upon, discovered all of the drugs, predictably failed my third year of uni, was kindly given a second chance by an Irish playwright with a lazy eye... scraped a degree out of that chance. Wrote a novella. Realised that it was hilariously awful. Disappeared to the other side of the world for six months. Returned doused in debt and immediately took the first job that offered sweet dollar, promised myself that I would only stay there for six months... that was almost six years ago.

                Since then, I have managed to see some of the world (namely the magnificent clump of eastern Europe known as the Balkans), I've also written for various music and film publications... recorded some music... released an album... recorded some more music in Finland (that's currently awaiting world exposure)... made friends, lost friends, collided with a few lovely ladies but none of which felt like love... Just kept on keeping on, I guess.

                Edit: Oh... and I went bald.
                So, in essence, you ARE William S. Burroughs?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by po-m View Post

                  So, in essence, you ARE William S. Burroughs?
                  Shhhhh

                  I thought I'd managed to conceal my real identity... There's still a whole patch of shaky ground surrounding a gun, a glass, and my wife that, for legal reasons, halts me from raising my head above the parapet...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by fatwoul View Post
                    I've been thinking about it, but I still don't know.
                    Robots don't have the capacity for change. Or self-awareness. Or thought. Wait...what's happening?

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                    • #25
                      Moving into a Physics degree next year. Never thought I could do maths, it's surprisingly like learning/teaching grammar.

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                      • #26
                        I guess changing for the better.

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                        • #27
                          The last thing I remember from these froums is that i wrote something bitchy. I deleted it later. I notice that I eventually enter an age where I feel a guest in my own body. I wear new glasses, and my high heels are less high. I reinvented myself by becoming a teacher – never thought that it might be an option to sit 25 hours per week in front of a screen. There are moments when I switch on my two speakers and tinker with sounds that myght become an audio play. My dream is to move to some place at the sea. In fact, I think that's agood plan.

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