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6 months and 200 pilates classes later.


Bojangles
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For those of you who might remember, I started writing my memoirs on my 30th b-day this past December. After almost giving up several times and forcing myself to write at least a page a day I'm coming to a close this week. I feel great. It was tough but I can now say I wrote a book God Damn it! I'm going to self publish at first and hopefully have someone pick it up. I only have like five more pages or so to go but I'm taking a break to celebrate today. Plus my brain just caught up with the fact that it's almost finished and is going loopy from it. I feel like I just ran a 6 month mental marathon.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

whats it about? (apart from your life)

Short version:

Well just my life alone the first 10-15 years was hell. Alcoholic Mom dying of Cancer and Emphysemia. Dad left waaaay earlier. it goes into me growing up and raising myself along with a pack of wild kids in somewhat similar situations. Then moves into the graffiti thing and how it helped me along (cliche...but true in my case.) Deals with my mother's passing when I was 16 and me being out in the world alone. Drug years...blah, blah, blah.

 

Then it gets into how I used the graffiti shit locally to become a working artist to the point where i was doing stuff for major clients and my face was in the paper and on the news a lot (in a positive manner) Finally A long lost Aunt (Who i never knew existed) saw an article and told her/my family who again, I didn't know existed and long story short led me to meet a whole slew of family I never had and eventually reunited me with my father after 25 years.

 

This is the official synopsis I wrote:

Overview: I'm not an author and I don't claim to be one. This is the true story of my life. I'm writing it because every time I've talked to people in depth about the adventures I've had growing up they say "this should be a book!" I finally decided they were right. The story begins with me at the age of four living the American dream. Just another kid living in the city with his parents. Soon enough their own vices and differences would tear our word in two directions, never to be the same again. I left with my Mother and we began our new life, unfortunatly she wasn't ready for the path she had created. My Father went his own way and was seen less and less over time while my mother and I faced struggle after struggle. My Mothers alcoholism soon condemned us to a life of eviction notices and welfare checks, while my Father went chasing after the life he had before he was a family man. As the situations got more severe for us, my Mothers addictions grew to try and keep her numb to the facts around her. Our own family began to disown my Mother and her child due to her inability to maintain a sober life.

 

With no options left, my Mother soon turned to anything that looked like hope. We were thrown headfirst into the world of homeless shelters and abusive boyfriends. Everytime we got out of one of these situations, a new one would arise. After years of this vicious cycle my Mother also discovered that she was terminally ill which perpetuated her drinking habit. The moves in and out of shelters and gutter level housing continued all through my early years. The only thing that began to hold me together was my new found artistic abilities. As I grew The ablities grew, as did the problems surrounding our lives. We eventually land in a neighborhood on the upper west side of Cleveland where we would continue moving spuraticlly throughout the apartments in the area. This would be the setting for my pre-teen and teen years and become the place where my life would take shape as a person and an artist. Life long friendships began and families were created and lost all in this neighborhood. Eventually the ultimate loss would come with the death of my Mother.

 

Where would I go? What would become of my own life now that my last family member is out of the picture? All the questions begin to be answered in the coming months that follow. All the turmoil and challenges continued to put me at the edge of death every day. From streetlife and drugs to personal emotions and love all of these things would test me and shape me as I grew into a young man. At any point it would've been easy to give up and take a number of ways out that could've lead me to a life in prison or to my grave. I knew I was destined for great things, and whatever hadn't killed me thus far was making me stronger. I knew all I had left was myself and my art, and I began using my talents to my fullest abilities. Growing up as an artist in the city I immediately took a liking to graffiti at an early age, this was becoming the direction my art would turn to. The story continues into my teen years discovering the sub-culture of graffiti art and the lifestyle that comes attached to it. From gaining a mentor turned life long friend and brother, to earning fame under the night skies with cans of paint.

 

Graffiti art would carry me through the toughest of times, eventually gaining me recognition in the local music and club scene. Now in my late teens and early twenties I had an all or nothing attitude. I had overcome all the obstacles of the last twenty years of my life and watched all of my family die off and disappear around me. I was a lone soldier ready to take on the world if need be. Even though I was sliding by in life, angst and anger burned inside of me. With these feelings came the need to vent onto the world. I used these feelings to fuel a graffiti career that lasted over a decade, ending with my name being on almost every surface in Cleveland. I no longer cared about family issues, money wasn't a factor in my life. I was consumed by my new identity as a graffiti artist. I was no longer XXXXXXXX, I had become the pseudonym "XXXXXXX". Where would this new life of street fame lead me? Would I make it out alive? These questions and many others all get put to light in the pages ahead. Having my name in the spotlight eventually even led me to a reunion I never expected or knew could happen almost 30 years later. I'm not an author, I'm just a man who made it through everything life threw at him and came out ahead in the end. Where does the egg fu young come into play from the title? Read on and find out.

 

I X'd a few things out cuz I know how you pack animals are.;)

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

Chapter One:

Yawn.

 

The End.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just playing... good shit mang, I wish I had the motivation to do the same. Now that I am over thirty the better memories are really starting to fade.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

i was doin somethin like this at age 16...gave up buncha times....i gave too much detail.

props on the book..

who knows this might inspire me to start it again.

 

That was the tricky part, knowing when to summarize or be vague. I still have to go back in and rework some parts for that reason.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

Not to pee on your cake or anything, but people on here don't like to read.

Without photos, everything is worthless.

 

 

 

 

Good job.

Seriously.

My book is years in the making.

And I have yet to produce page one of it.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

I remember the original thread. Good to hear you have nearly completed it.

I have always had visions of doing the same thing as I mentioned before, but I still feel as though the next 5 years are going to be more adventurous than the past 5. It sounds like you have had a hectic life man, and I hope there is some mention of your Transformers in there!

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

I'm about a hundred oor so pages into my own project...how do you go about publishing it yourself? I once saw a website that does it for you, but you have to agree to some contract where they own the rights to your book...which is bullshit...but other than shit like that, I don't know what to do.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

Answering two questions here:

 

1. For Cart monkey- I found a site called lulu.com looks pretty promising

 

2. Fat Ralphy (and whoever else) I publish a new page every Tuesday here: http://www.myspace.com/mylifeat30 The whole book will not be published there, just the first half. I'm up to page 23 right now.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

i have been wanting to do some what of the same thing. but im still young so i could start writing shit down now. did you have a hard time remembering things?? did you just use word or some type of script program to write it>?

 

my life was so wild 10+ years ago that I had to call old friends to confirm childhood memories sometimes. Basically I just started at the beginning and wrote the points of interest in my life that were burned into my long term memory. Sometimes I had to dig way back though. It helps to just sit down alone with no disturbances and just go...Kinda like therapy. To write I used a free program called Open Office, it's just like Microsoft Word.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

lulu was the site i was referencing....

 

I don't plan on selling millions...in the end I would just like to have a concrete book in my hands that I wrote and nothing more...it seems as though lulu could do that for me, but I believe that a few months ago...I read in their terms you have to agree with...that they basically own the rights to everything. Seems kinda weird to me...but perhaps I'm over reacting and its not so bad.

 

Your thoughts? since you're closer to completion and you're probably going to print multiple copies

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Guest R@ndomH3ro

Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

did you put the part where I pulled you out of a burning building and then killed a giant demon?

 

 

if not...you are not done.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

my life was so wild 10+ years ago that I had to call old friends to confirm childhood memories sometimes. Basically I just started at the beginning and wrote the points of interest in my life that were burned into my long term memory. Sometimes I had to dig way back though. It helps to just sit down alone with no disturbances and just go...Kinda like therapy. To write I used a free program called Open Office, it's just like Microsoft Word.

 

i appreciate the feed back bojangles. would love a copy of the book once its out. let us all know when it comes out.

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Re: 6 months and 200 pages later.

 

lulu was the site i was referencing....

 

I don't plan on selling millions...in the end I would just like to have a concrete book in my hands that I wrote and nothing more...it seems as though lulu could do that for me, but I believe that a few months ago...I read in their terms you have to agree with...that they basically own the rights to everything. Seems kinda weird to me...but perhaps I'm over reacting and its not so bad.

 

Your thoughts? since you're closer to completion and you're probably going to print multiple copies

 

Wow...Didn't read the fine print there yet. Screw that. I'll have to look it over. I'll let those interest know when I find a decent self publisher if lulu doesn't work out.

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