Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Can't Explain It, But....

Show us where you work! Please share a photo of your work/writing space, and tell us why it looks the way it does! 

-From Frank

Ah, I just can't.

I'm not trying to be a party pooper (did you read that in your best Arnold-ese as paw-tee poop-uh? Cause that's how I wrote it). Really, I'm not. And it doesn't have anything to do with my study being a cluttered mess, either. Well, okay, it's about ten percent that. But it's ninety percent this weird privacy thing that I don't know I can entirely explain.

Here's my best go at it.

Writing is a private endeavor at its outset that becomes a very public thing at the end of the journey. And as writers, we can be private people but in a very real way, we have a public persona, too (some - many! - do better at this than me). A lot of our lives is pretty open to public view, and that's the choice we make when it comes to being a writer.

I'm cool with it. I have a website. I do interviews. I write on this blog. I go to conferences and do bookstore events. I was even on TV a couple of times. On my website, I have a whole page chronicling things like this. So I'm down with being open about a lot of things.

So why do I balk at this simple request?

I'm not entirely sure. I spent twenty years as a cop, and that is a pretty public job. But it is also one in which I jealously guarded privacy, too. The reason for that was safety, plain and simple. You take enough bad people to jail, and the odds go up that one of them is going to want to get some kind of revenge at some point. Maybe it's just an egg thrown at your house, a broken window, or a slashed tire. But there's always the potential for more, and I had a family to protect.

Around the same time I started to become a little bit known as a writer, my police profile was increasing, too. I was a leader at the command level for my department, so that meant talking on camera to the media, giving print interviews, and testifying to city council at public and closed sessions. As a police leader, I was a public figure. As a writer, I was certainly trying to be. All of this made me guard my privacy, at least where I could, even more zealously.

But that's the past. Now I'm retired, and have been for seven years. I live six hours away from the mean streets I served on. And like most writers struggling to get noticed in an increasingly crowded field, I'd love to raise my profile as a writer. So why not just snaps some damn pics and post them and be done with it?

Like I said, I'm not one hundred percent sure. But my workspace is one of the only places in the world that is wholly mine, and for some reason, I like keeping it mostly private. I'm okay with Richie and Wiley joining me, and even Pasta, the cattiest of cats. Kristi, too - she has a desk in here, though it is rarely used. 

Wiley and Richie, valiantly standing in for workspace pics
Pasta, about to extend his middle claw at me.

It doesn't make intellectual sense, I know. I've done readings from this location, so it's not like it's a top secret lair. So it's weird, but when I saw the question for this week, my immediate and visceral reaction was, "Nope. Can't do it." I suppose it is fair to say it was an emotional response, not a thinking one.

So, there it is. Old habits die hard, I guess. Or get warped into some kind of odd psychological morass of a swamp that I should probably apologize for dragging you through.

But hey, you asked.


But Still With the Blatant Self-Promotion? 

Ah, yes. After all that talk of privacy, I'm still pimping the product?

Yep. I have to. 

So I will show how hypocritically selective I am when it comes to privacy. Here it is - my latest book, In the Cut, the second in my SpoCompton series, is now available from Down and Out Books. You can read about it if you click the link.

1 comment:

Paul D. Marks said...

I don't blame you for wanting to keep your privacy, Frank. But the voyeur in me would sure like to see your office ;-) .