The core of this collection was tapped out on a failing 80386 IBM "clone" during the winter months of 1992 and into early 1993, Salt Lake City, Utah, riding an adrenaline wave from having just finished Wisdom's Maw and still with the majority of a sheet of LSD, which had -- to that point -- fueled nearly all of my works of fiction and "creative nonfiction."
As then-adjunct Professor of English at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, I was facing an unpaid stretch of weeks through Christmas and the New Year and had no intention of getting a part-time job, as I knew that I would not see the new semester if I did not get that novel done. Wisdom's Maw had been sitting 1/4 finished since 1990, and it would take a couple of close friends who knew of my needs to supply me with what I needed to finish the bastard thing. Having suddenly come into a parcel of very fine blotter acid, I carved out a schedule and a List of Rules & Regulations for the house that I knew would allow for ample progress; barring a nervous breakdown or an intervention by the good members of the Salt Lake City police department, I was hopeful for the first time in ages.
I would rise with my then-wife in the mornings of that (for me) winter vacation, cook and eat breakfast together, and -- as soon as I heard the car start up in the driveway -- implant between 500 and 1,000 micrograms of Sandoz' finest between my cheek'n'gum, say why don't we? There would be no more than one phone call to the house during my Writing Day; she would enjoy lunches downtown with office colleagues or church members, and, by 5:15pm -- to a heavy awareness of the sliding of the tumblers on our deadbolt lock -- I would have completed between four and thirteen pages of a story of which I am still very proud and have come back to Consensus Reality (or, as close to it as I ever am). As a southern California transplant, I had almost no friends in Salt Lake City and, hence, no reason to fear a knocking on the door to jar me from out of my phantasmagoria. I had kicked booze two years earlier, was in complete control of my surroundings and had, during idle time in what was most of my earlier stint as a paralegal for an LA law firm, mapped out every scene, character sketch and venue in which the drama would take place. I simply had to sit in solace -- to strains of the Grateful Dead, Van Morrison and Roxy Music -- and get the bugger done.
And I did. In a white heat, basically smashed on acid and to endless mugs of herbal tea, and with enough incense and speaker volume to worry the neighbors, wrote 150+ pages in less than eight weeks. And still I had about 60 hits lurking in a filing cabinet. And is when I decided to begin writing the Dogshit Park stories.
I was on fire. Those four months stand as the most sustained stretch of creativity I have ever come into. A pleasant change of pace from the byzantine construction into which I had wrenched myself with Wisdom's Maw, the stories came as almost a cut-and-paste from the Beyond--fat slabs of dialogue and narrative would simply come to me, and the days were that of joy. Each evening, the old white Honda would pull up behind our flat, and she would be greeted with an exuberance and laughter and a, "...You've got to read this," and I can understand now why she suspected nothing.
It had become routine; and who knows how artists work, anyway? At least I was producing something--which, to her, nearly compensated for the weeks of fiscal non-reward.