From a famous writer or celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us WORDS.
I often find myself apologizing for everything even though I don’t mean to. I’m sorry I offended you. I’m sorry you’re having a bad day. I’m sorry I’m not good enough.
So when the time comes when someone gets to write my autobiography, I would pick someone I know won’t waste any f**king time apologizing for anything. I would pick the one and only James Ellroy. Yes, that James Ellroy. L.A. Confidential, Black Dahlia James Ellroy.
I first met Mr. Ellroy at the Torrance Borders many many years ago. I was there for a writer’s critique group and we were seated outside with our coffees and our pitiful stories clutched tightly in our sweaty little hands, while Mr. Ellroy was promoting his new book inside the store. I didn’t even know he was there to promote his new book because I missed all the signs that were plastered all over the place.
And as we sat there trying to focus on other people’s writing, trying to figure out how to say ‘this writing sucks’ in a nice, supportive way, someone was cussing like no tomorrow inside the store. James Ellroy was in the house.
Transfixed, I remember that I got up and left the group of wannabe writers and said to myself, now that’s who I want to be. I want to be James F**king Ellroy and not feel bad about anything at all. I want to write the stuff he writes, with strong characters and strong story lines. I want to stop apologizing for my writing, and just write it.
Before that day, I had never met any writer who spoke or acted like Mr. Ellroy. I thought writers were all polite and meek and cerebral, smiling as they signed their books or talked about the craft of writing. Not Mr. Ellroy. He did talk about his books, but not just to promote them. He simply talked about the topics that interested him, most of all the death of his mother, a cold case file to this day. I could have listened to him all day. I never even got to have Mr. Ellroy sign any book because I was content just standing watching and listening to him.
So should the time come in some alternate universe that someone were to write my autobiography, it would have to be him. And when he does, there will not be a single apology. Not a one.
And when it’s all done, I won’t have time to apologize about anything either. Even from beyond the grave.