I cut my teeth on Kurt Vonnegut. No, literally. In college I read nothing but Kurt Vonnegut, so when an old girlfriend decided to hurl something at me, it was one of his books that was closest to her. Okay, it cut my lip, not my teeth, but I think that’s well within poetic license wiggle-room, no?
I don’t bear any ill-will toward Mr. Vonnegut for it. I admire him too much. In art school, I spent twenty hours making a 20″x20″ pencil rendering of him. I read everything he ever wrote. Several times. And I seemed to walk in the same circles he did, only years later. I tried to get him to sign my drawing but there was confusion and by the time things got sorted, he left this granfalloon we call earth.
There is no writer, living or dead, who has driven my desire to write more than Kurt Vonnegut did. My heart wilts a little when I think that I never met the man who had so much influence in my life. Maybe he knows. Maybe, wherever he went after this life he learned of my admiration for him. I like to think he did. Because a week after my first novel was published, Kurt came back with an unpublished manuscript. He and I share the same column on the Kindle Serials page. His book is above mine, shining down. I think he would appreciate the irony of coming back from the dead to shine down on my book about the undead.
I think that was just his style.
It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.