Hey there! I’m Matt, a 46-year-old blogger living in the Boston metro area. Welcome! I love the written and spoken word. Here’s you’ll read fiction, poetry, essays, drama, art, comedy, and whatever else I can think of. Sometimes I like to post pictures and videos from artwork that other people create, because it was too darn cool not to pass along.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Philadelphia, just on the edge of the city. I loved dogs growing up, and ghost stories, and the idea of wolves howling on a dark night always captured my imagination. I was a shy kid and spent most of my time with a nose in a book. Fantasy novels and science fiction were my favorites.
After two years of trying to make my high school’s cross country team, they let me on because I just wouldn’t go away. It changed me more than I ever thought it would. Running in parks alongside creeks gave me my first taste of what the world had really been like before we were surrounded by tech. Then, when I went to college, I tried karate, and the meditation and sweat of slow kata made me imagine worlds inside, too. The wolves, the woods, and the sweat, and how they’re all part of the same thing, are where I found my first book, Shadow and Shade. Those ideas continue to influence me today in my practice of yoga and outlook on the world.
When did you first start writing?
The first story I ever wrote was in the summer after sophomore year of high school: a full-blown science fiction novel. I sat in my dad’s creaky old desk chair by the window on many summer days and wrote page after page in longhand. By the time it was done, I got the girl and had saved the world. I was so embarrassed at the idea that anyone would ever read it that I threw out each page as I wrote it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes and yes! The first novel I ever read was Henry Reed’s Journey by Keith Robertson, in the fourth grade. The bookish-looking kid on the cover looked exactly like I did at that age. He travels cross-country with his family and has funny, surprising, amazing adventures along the way. To this day I don’t know whether I adopted his slightly twisted sense of humor or it was already there and the book brought it out of me. I bought a copy when eBay came along.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The idea that there’s something neat going on out there that I want to check out. For me every day’s an adventure. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the suburban kind of adventure, but it’s mine and I love it. I’m the optimistic type. Every day is new and anything’s possible. I work for a company that helps people work together better, not just in the productive way but as better human beings. As a writer I get to explore all the things that make people tick. Or sometimes I just write something goofy. I like yoga, volleyball, and other exercise. That makes a cool combination of pushing limits while being thoughtful and taking care of myself at the same time. Life is too cool to miss.
Describe your desk
LOL! I have a corner desk that’s built into the wall that wraps around on the right side and longer on the left. The previous owner was a woman about five or six inches shorter than me, so I needed to buy blocks of wood to prop up the hutch that sits on top of the desk, so that my computer monitors would be at eye level.
Right in front of me are a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a manual of style, and some other books on editing, along with two tins of mixed nuts and a deck of “yoga cards” with different poses. Next to the left monitor I have a smooth, black, heavy rock that I found on the beach, a little blue stone with white veins, and a guitar pick. Next to the right monitor I have a white seashell, a little statue of a Galapagos turtle that I bought at a museum after visiting the Darwin exhibit, and a gray stone with the Om symbol carved into it. Behind the monitors are corkboards with family photos.
The left side is a work space. Right now it’s covered with story notes, two Moleskines, and a handful of magazines, along with the last two books I read.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
I tell people that Shadow and Shade is a story about witches, wolves, and growing up. It’s also about intolerance, addiction, and what happens when people no longer trust each other.
It came about after three or four fitful attempts at writing a fantasy epic. I realized that I didn’t want to read another epic, and I couldn’t relate to the wizards in pointy hats, the noble warriors, and the plucky, brave heroes that rose to the occasion. When I imagined how I would re-invent wizards, I pictured a sweaty young man in the woods wearing camouflage, having a hard time levitating a chunk of wood.
I knew there had to be wolves. We’re all animals. Nature is where we connect to our deepest selves. The other characters and conflicts were a mix of growing pains that I’d known in my own life and some of the people who had been characters in that play. It’s an amazing thing when “the people you know now” meet “the people you knew then” and you imagine the drama play out.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on a science fiction trilogy about an exiled princess and her path to reclaiming her throne. Her friends may have stories of their own to tell, too. Of course, along the way I’ll be trying out new things and writing on the blog.
Why do you write?
I wrote this poem about “Why I Write” a while ago, and it’s still true today.
Because I have to
To hear my own voice
To hear myself speak
To take adventures
To see how weird the world is
Because I have to
To find peace
To do weird things that I’ve never done before
To make verbal graffiti art
To draw my life
To blow off the top of my head
To notice things
To slow down
To steal things
Because I have to
How about you?
Fine print: It goes without saying that everything I’m posting here is copyrighted by me, all rights reserved. Feel free to reblog or pass the word along as long as you give proper credit. Thanks! Also, unless taken by me, all photographs at this site are the property of their owner, and are used without permission. No license or ownership by me is intended by their use. I receive no proceeds from this page. If you are the owner of a photograph used on this web page and don’t want it to be used, or would like to be given proper credit, please let me know. Thanks again :).