Tag Archives: reflections

Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain

Since the news broke about the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, there has been a bloom of posts, tweets, and articles across the internet. Reflections, reminiscences, and stories told from those who knew him and those who admired him. This will be another—albeit one more personal. I suppose these are what happens when someone’s life touched so many people in so many unexpected ways.

I don’t usually get worked up about celebrity news—I never met Bourdain in person, but I felt like I did. He was something different; open, honest, and unwilling to hide. Bourdain was a masterful storyteller with a raw and unapologetic voice. Reading Kitchen Confidential felt like I was swapping stories with him at a seedy bar in Manhattan. It made me appreciate food and cooking in a way I hadn’t considered.  A Cook’s Tour and No Reservations opened up the world and made me want to travel. Parts Unknown and Medium Raw were continuations of those early lessons.


“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

Anthony Bourdain


There was something about Bourdain’s punk-rock unpretentious attitude drew me in as a young man. To many, he came across as abrasive, but below his sarcastic steak was a profoundly earnest and empathetic man who cared about people. He also allowed himself to be ugly. Bourdain made mistakes, he owned up to them, and he didn’t dismiss his past. He showed many of us that it was okay to screw-up, and it was okay to love screw-ups.

I’m going to miss his writing, his authenticity, and his observations on life. I wish his last mistake hadn’t been so permanent. Often, when an author dies we mourn the loss of a voice—and that is true with Bourdain. But his writing remains, his show remains—his voice might be gone, but his life was too loud to go silent.

I’ve seen depression’s impact on more than just celebrities like Anthony Bourdain. I’ve seen it hurt friends, family, and fellow authors. Depression is a wicked beast of a thing. It tricks your mind. It lies to you. If you’re ever thinking of hurting yourself, please remember you’re loved. Seek help. You matter. We need you here. Talk or text a friend or loved one. If you can’t do that and live in the US, call 1-800-273-8255. (You can find international numbers here.)

Six Hundred

Six Hundred

This blog is a story in itself. It’s the documentation of a journey. Growing up, I remember my grandmother talking about becoming a novelist. She often spoke of the stories she wanted to share, the memoirs of her life, but she never finished her book. I believe the world is a little less without her words. From the beginning, the intent of I Make Stories was to chronicle my process of becoming a novelist—the good and the bad. As I have shared my experiences, I often wonder: what would have happened if my grandmother had read this blog as a fellow writer? Would she have been dissuaded or encouraged?

On that note, it’s time for a bit of reflection, and hopefully a bit of encouragement. It’s become a tradition around here that every two hundred posts I pause and take a moment and look back at what has happened in the time between. In 2014 I wrote my two-hundredth post, in 2015 I hit number four hundred, and here I am in 2017 looking at number six hundred. It’s been a long trail.

Things haven’t always been easy, but generally, nothing worth doing is easy. Days of discouragement are as common as the days of victory. Even as I write this post, I’ve been struggling through some serious self-doubt. I’ve come to expect it now, it’s a part of creation. Random events interrupt and derail process and progress. Writing takes time and effort, and it can often be a lonely endeavor. It requires a commitment to yourself and often that is more difficult than we realize.


“Milestones are meant to be passed.”


But even with the trials of creative work, things haven’t slowed during the last two hundred posts. Each obstacle has been surmounted and I’ve found successes along the way. I’ve sold a lot more books, many thousands now in total. I’ve hit the Amazon best-seller page multiple times. My presence at conventions has also expanded, and I’ve met some incredible people and new friends along the way.

On the story front, I launched Red Litten World which fans have enjoyed. I’ve finished the first draft of a standalone non-traditional fantasy (the title which I am keeping secret), and I’m nearly done with the first draft of Coal Belly my enormous steampunky riverboat adventure. Then it’s on to book four of the Bell Forging Cycle.

I’d like to think the content on this blog has gotten better as well. I’ve begun to share some of my discoveries in my research and delve into more details in the world of the Territories. There’s also this little thing which fans of the Bell Forging Cycle have yet to unravel. Plus, I have some other exciting plans for the future.

I couldn’t have done this alone. Although she never knew me as a writer, there is something of my grandmother in everything I write and for that I thank her. She might not have told her stories, but she empowered me to tell mine. And of course, there is you; my readers. I couldn’t be here, looking back from post six hundred, without you. Thanks for the passion. Thank you for buying my books. Thanks for reading them, and leaving reviews. Thank you for telling your friends and helping to spread the word. Thank you for the emails and the encouragement. There’s a lot of books out there to read, and I’m so grateful you picked mine.

As before, I won’t dwell here long. Stick with your work fellow creators. Milestones are meant to be passed. Number eight hundred lies somewhere in the distance and who knows what we’ll see in the spaces between.