A former student of mine takes to Facebook often and posts these incredible little vignettes of life from the rough part of the city where he currently works and I assume lives. Through some sort of Lynchian magnetism, he seems to attract some of the most off-kilter characters who interact with him in all sorts of odd ways. Some stories are shaggy dogs, full of little humorous details. Others are transcribed dialogues. All burst off the page with crazed life.
So after reading a recent one I reached out.
To proselytize a little bit, I said, stop giving your art to Facebook and put it on your own (future) site. Your stories are hilarious and droll and need to be your own. Seriously consider owning your art. Soon enough at the end of a year or so, you will have a great book of some kind. And it’s the same amount of effort you put into taking your art and throwing it into the raging stream that is social media. (Which, as I saw, was not a lot of effort. Precisely because he wasn’t thinking what he was doing was “important.”)
Maybe he will turn this into a book. (I hope so!) Indeed, he admitted that he’s wanted to put out a book for some time. It was a dream project, he said.
I think, I replied, you already have that book.
(image: Foggy Night, San Francisco (1946) by Fred Lyon)