Raising Them

March 8th, 2023

Ugh. I’m going to take a break from a week in which I finally got back my stolen car, nearly two months after the incident, only for it to try to kill me and have to be returned for further repair, to keep talking about my debut novella, Them.

In what place do you find peace? In what place do you feel in control?

One of my favorite Stephen King anecdotes is about his book, Cujo: he doesn’t remember writing it.

He was all kinds of fucked up when he sat down to type that tale, and he’s sad to recount that he can’t recount a thing. He says he actually likes Cujo, and wishes he had memories of creating it.

I’m happy to report that I remember writing all my books. But beer was definitely an active ingredient in the first three.

I can write at any time. I often do, and if you’ve been lucky enough to be sitting next to me while I’m typing my latest post, you know.

But the best time for me to write is when the rest of the world is sleeping. I feel like I’m cheating time; I like getting things done when things are not supposed to be getting done.

So late night and early morning have always been my favorite times.

My late night (and some early morning) writing shifts would have me behind my keyboard, at a PC, with a can or bottle of beer by the screen, which I would slowly sip on as I wrote. These would often be marathons, of both word and brew.

There’s an old saying: “Write drunk, edit sober.” It took me years to get to the latter part of those four words, and then I edited the word “drunk” out altogether.

Those early books, but especially Them, were about control. In fact, control was the main theme of Them, by conscious design.

I was obsessed with control. I had none. I was desperate for it. And I would fall apart over the next several years trying to hold on to the idea of it.

Writing was the place I found peace. Writing is the place where I find, and then release, control.

Nowadays, I still sip incessantly. But it’s on coffee and sparkling water, and a can of kombucha a day.

I haven’t yet written a blockbuster book, like Carrie or Cujo.

But I remember the time I spent with each one, like kids I fully raise over a few months or years.

I remember playing with Them, my oldest child, and knowing then I wanted to keep on having and raising kids like this for the rest of my life.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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