Updated: Jan 16
It’s a funny title for a blog post, right? How does this have any farting thing to do with creating a book? Sit tight and hang on. I’m always telling people to pay attention to the small things in life. Open your eyes, perk up your ears and don’t be afraid to have wild thoughts. My thoughts and dreams have always been my worst enemies and my best friends. They have led me down a path of creativity, time and time again. I follow them into the dark unknown and I wouldn’t change my journey for all the gold in the Dwarf-kingdom of Erebor. I’m such a nerd.
Fade out to a time long, long, ago in a land of strip joints, lady cougars, and gay bars. Picture if you will, a very young impressionable Ren. A young man who routinely enjoyed loud bars, cheap drinks and good friends. The gay bars in New Orleans on a Sunday are thumping with sin after a morning of forgiveness. It’s the best day to be in the city. The sun beams down on Ren’s small muscular frame, he smiles, and you can smell love, money and other French Quarter rotten stank in the air. Dear Reader, please don’t breathe heavy, trust me on this.
I was but a simple bartender with friends from all walks of life. Ms. Lita, a kind older lady across the street, would trade me pralines for a house rum punch. I liked her but not enough for top shelf. The older bar regulars knew my real name, but everyone else would call me by whatever name badge I wore that day. Yes, that is a real thing. Service industry people don’t always display their real names. My name has been Ben, Ken, Jack, Astor, Devin, Tayln, and Dog. Your momma could have named you Dog! Don’t judge a Southern woman’s choice of names for her children! I had many friends, but my closest friend at the time was Chris. He was hella fun and hella cute. You know, one of those hot as hell men who by just standing next to, makes you feel and look like a supermodel. I simultaneously wanted to punch him in his damn square jaw or orchestrate his sudden disappearance. I admit, he was cuter and more popular than me.
We saw the world through rose-colored glasses and thought we were the cherry on top of the cow turd. We got into trouble, watched drag shows and so much more. We created different back stories for people who caught our grazing eyes. I would start a dialogue of what I thought they were saying, not knowing a single word of the actual conversation. They were too far away to hear, so what did I care. It was so much fun to create a universe just by looking at a rando man’s mouth moving. This is where I noticed I had a certain gift for writing funny and entertaining conversations. What if I applied that to characters? What if Chris and I were these characters but cute cuddly animals. The birth of Snowball and Éclair evolved. They would be the inspiration of what would fuel the development of creating characters for the stage. Over the years, I have never forgotten about my first two dirty little fellas. Snowball was a pure white fluffy kitten with one brown foot. He smelled of Strawberry Hill and cussed like an elderly man in the morning. He was a rebel, a hellion and always got away with his deeds because he looked so damn cute. Éclair was a dirty tabby covered in mud, no fashion sense, and his favorite treat was a freshly killed rat. He spoke with a perfect southern vocabulary and a wicked sense of humor. Which one was I? Éclair of course. Chris was Snowball. The adventures we would go on are the stuff that legends are made of, but this is not about them, it’s about what they represent. I’m such an asshole. Teased you, didn’t I?
The point of this story is to pay attention to the little things in your life. If you have random thoughts about tiny animals on an adventure, don’t ignore them. You may be starting down a path that one day will lead you to a very fascinating outcome. Without noticing these little influences to push you in the right direction, then you may miss out on an experience that’s not to be missed. Take notice of the people, places and the general stuff around you. It’s important and precious. Who knows, maybe one day, you will write a book, or discover your very own little dirty version of Snowball and Éclair.