Chris Minnick studied creative writing at the University of Michigan and has authored over a dozen books about computer programming and two novels. He writes, lives, and swims in Astoria, Oregon.
“A person sure does see all kinds of things and types as a bartender,” thought Billy, as he wiped off the empty end of the bar for the third time since opening forty minutes ago.
As Mike was dying, he could only think of one thing. No, that’s not true. He was thinking of many things. The first was, “Am I dying?” The second was “It hurts.” The third was about how he no longer had control of his body. But, then as he settled into acceptance of these things, he could only think of one other thing: he regretted not having the courage to face his problems head on. He regretted spending so many years in hiding. He regretted that when he, for just a moment, and in a clown jail of all places, when he had a real connection with a person, he was too scared to treat that as the rare moment it was, to say and do the things that needed to be said and don’t. He chose hiding. Now, here he was dying, and that person was holding his hand, and he couldn’t get his tongue and lips to form the words.
Zen in the Art of Performance
I wanted to be a performance artist ever since I first read about Chris Burden. Burden became famous in the 1970s for nailing himself to a Volkswagen Beetle, being kicked down two flights of stairs, and shooting himself in the arm with a rifle. Burden is legendary, but he wasn’t particularly interesting compared to those who would come after him. For example, Marina Abramović let strangers torture her, and Mao Sugiyama served his genitals at a dinner party. While many people adore Petr Pavlensky for cutting off his earlobe or nailing his scrotum to Red Square, my dream was to make a sustainable career out of performance art — and I’ve only got so many body parts.
From Writing to Public Speaking
For many writers, public speaking is particularly unnatural and uncomfortable. But, I think I’ve figured out how to make it bearable and even fun. In this article, I’ll tell you about my speaking adventure and what I learned from it. If you just want to see the result, skip to the end of the article.
I Never Want to See That Creepy Old Barn Again
None of us had ever been in a barn before, so that was cool. But that was the only cool thing about it. Henry’s girlfriend was moaning about how we should stay in the van and wait for help. But Henry thought he remembered there being a town not too far away and we could go to the gas station and get some gas, beer, and smokes. Maybe we should have left Henry’s girlfriend in the van. Anyway, we all start walking — me, Joey, Henry, Henry’s girlfriend, and Sid. There was no town.
Writing for the Dead
The first time my writing was published was in 1993, when I was the circulation manager for a small weekly newspaper in Detroit. The full-time reporters considered the job of writing death notices to be beneath them, and shoved it off onto me.
Can You Fail Your Way To Success?
Some years ago, the idea that “failure is your friend” gained some traction after someone very much like me who had failed in the tech industry numerous times made it a popular mantra. A conference called “FailCon” was started and was a popular as a place for people who were actually quite successful to get together and brag (like all tech conferences are).
How to be a Professional Writer
I've been a professional published writer for the last 30 years, and it's been my primary source of income for the last 10 years. If you had asked me how to become a professional writer when I first started, I would have said "get a job as a writer." Today, however, I'm proud that I've "made it" without having to get a job. I write what I want, when I want, and where I want. While my path might not be for everyone, in a lot of ways I'm living the dream.