Monday, September 12, 2011

in the beginning...

Yesterday my 13yo son asked me, "So Dad, what's with this writing thing?" He is referring to my new second job, that of an author.

Indeed, Jim, I second your question. Why would a nearly 45 year old licensed professional engineer suddenly decide to reconsider his profession? Back in college was I supposed to get in the writer line? Is it too late for me? Maybe not. Consider the story of young Jacob Cohen.

A talented young son of vaudeville performers, he started writing at age 15 with dreams of becoming a performer. With little success and a family to provide for, he worked as an aluminum siding salesman but retained his dream of performing. He would find success after two quintessential clicks of the cosmic tumblers. First, he needed a better name. Second, he needed a break.

The latter came when Ed Sullivan needed a very last minute replacement in his TV show lineup in 1967. The former was his choice to rename himself after a Jack Benny radio show cowboy, Rodney Dangerfield.

And so it went. His creative persona was the same before he found fame as after.Why did his success not come sooner? The difference was, well, hard to pinpoint, aside from his ability to just keep trying.

So to answer my son's question, Jim, I just decided to keep trying. And in the light of the lesson learned, this blog has a name. Ed's Pen Is Stuck. Why this name?

I get a lot of e-mails with what people think are, oh so funny, just have to share it, photos. One of them gathered enough popularity it got copied and counterfeited in hundreds of follow-up email messages. The message usually contains an image of an office printer with a handwritten note taped to the case. The note intends to warn users the printer is not working because a pen is stuck inside of it. Get ready to laugh, because the note's writer has unfortunately written sloppily causing it to read, "printer not working, penis stuck."

Very popular, no? So I have decided to kick start my popularity as a writer by also announcing that my pen is stuck as well. What is it stuck in? Who knows? Who cares? As long as it is stuck in something that can be washed off, touches people's lives, and makes a couple of dollars. At the very least I hope it gets stuck inside something that will get me published.