|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
What Genre Do You Write In The Most And Why?
The bulk of my writing, whether short or long prose, poetry, or a good deal of whatever else, is done in a slice of life grittiness. A lot of my early reading was in the serials, Sherlock Holmes, Conan, John Carter On Mars, James Bond. Good fantasy but not something you really sink your teeth into. In my mid-teens I discovered the French Existentialists and the American Beats. This led me to explore different character styles and how to express the mundane world in ways that were real and true to mood and intent. The late sixties brought on Thomas Wolfe, Terry Southern, Hunter S. Thompson. These opened up the world of social commentary and the use of the characters to make bigger statements about the changing landscape of literary communication. William Kennedy and Charles Bukowski brought it all to a head.
As I explored my own emotions through my writing I found that my background as a loner on the streets and my own real life battles with drugs, alcohol, and other human beings informed my style and voice. There are any number of flowery, articulate ways to say things, but when you're talking about the gut level fears and struggles of people living hand to mouth pretty is not what it's about. I've loved, lost, been used as a surrogate and used right back and found that, even in matters of the heart, we tend to flinch and run for the cover of metaphors that are applied like band-aids to the cuts and scrapes we accumulate. Then we can wander around whining and displaying our little ouchies and have a hypocrite world nod and cluck its collective tongue. Why?For me, if your going to talk about the dregs of a romance or the screwing you took in some relationship, you might as well let the wound scab over in the fresh air as acknowledgement that you had the balls to wager whatever it took to play the game.
The Marquis of Queensbury Rules don't apply in a street fight Boy-o and scars are the only true currency! When you're walking around in a downpour with holes in your shoes, a half a pack of soggy cigarettes, and the latest rejection slip in your pocket and you haven't the price of a beer...The world just plain SUCKS!...and living on beans and rice or macaroni salad for a couple of weeks will have you fantasizing about a rib-eye steak but a god damned chili dog would be heaven. So why not write it like that?
Yes, I've come a ways since then, but the lessons still apply. The one that kept me going was learning that some days the only thing you have left is style, but if you've got real heart, the only two things that can knock you down and keep you there are death and yourself. The bastard I am never learned to take a dive, and when the final chapter comes around I hope I've got the wherewith all to smile and spit in its eye.
As usual, I'm looking for short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are gadgets on the right side of the page to follow or subscribe. Would love to have the company. Comments, critiques, or questions can be submitted in the box below. I answer pretty much anything in as quick a manner as I can.
Remember...live, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis