Tuesday, January 31, 2012
One question I get asked the most is where I'm from. I've been told that it's hard to tell from the way I talk and I don't don't talk about where I live much either. It might be because I don't really live anywhere that cool, but it's also because I don't think everyone needs to know where I live.
I have moved around a lot in my life. I've lived in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and a couple other places. I've also traveled and been lucky enough to enjoy several places I'd like to live, like Austin, L.A., Pittsburgh, Bloomington, Illinois and Bloomington, Indiana.
The truth is that I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't claim any place as my hometown. My mailing address is a Vincennes address, but I don't call Vincennes home.
After my bookstore closed and I moved away, I decided that no city is my home. My home is truly where my heart is. As long as I have my daughter and the people I love around me, I'm happy and I'm at home.
At one stage in my life, I was proud to be called a local Vincennes author, but Vincennes has enough authors, like my friends B.C. Brown, Molly Daniels, Floyd Root, Benjamin Martinson and others. Unlike the "Author" and plagiarist, David Boyer, that Vincennes is noted for, these other authors are great people and have a fine mix of styles. They have a writing group, that I was once a member of, and they are people that the city can be proud of.
I am not someone the city can parade around and promote. We tried. It didn't work.
My style is too crass and I don't have a love for Vincennes.
Some people might think that I'm being an asshole with these statements, but if that is the case, I'm fine with that. Those people are either missing my point or only looking at the negative aspects of it. Nothing changes either way.
I'm not the best at anything. I'm not even that cool. I'm J. Travis Grundon. I'm from the middle of nowhere and I write stories full of bad words and bad people, but I love what I do and I'm happy.
I think having my heart broken, dealing with jerks and being an asshole at times has helped my writing. I am able to write from all sides of the friendship and romantic relationship spectrum with conviction. I know what it feels like to be the bad guy and the guy with a broken heart.
Not every character can be a brash bad-ass or a hopeless romantic. I have been told to write what I know, and I think it helps to write believable characters, even if the situations are unbelievable.
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~ Gloria Steinem
*NOTE: This is not an anti Vincennes blog. I don't hate any city and I don't hate anybody. It's just an answer to a question. Vincennes has just as much good as it does bad. I just have a lot of bad memories and unhappy feelings when I think about it.