Long time reader, first time poster. For you see, while I am David Oppegaard, indeed, I wear you, Blogagaard, like a mask (sometimes a very thin mask, but a mask all the same). You, Blogagaard, are the very best and very worst of me, the interesting parts of me, not the guy who sits around writing all day (okay-about three hours a day) and drinks Mendota Springs mineral water and cleans up cat puke and actually gets excited every time he hears the mail being delivered out in the apartment building hallway.
You, Blogagaard, are a mad visionary, a great, cursing devil of the Internets, a demi-god who strolls willy-nilly through the electronic age while I, bland old David Oppegaard, sit around St. Paul coffee shops waiting to either be evicted, sell a third novel, or finally run into Scarlet Johansson and just flat-out dazzle her with my comedy stylings, so that we can become friends, really good friends who give each other long, lingering looks at grill out parties or in co-ed saunas but alas, can never be together, not only because of our other loves, but because of our careers, both of which are just too important, too integral to the progress of society itself, to risk destroying in such a high profile courtship.
But I digress, Blogagaard. These past two weeks, you've hosted an array of wonderful, talented writers, guest posters who've pondered many a thing about literature and writing, and now, as the guest posting concludes, I could not help but throw in my two cents about writing as well...
When I was about seven years old I started writings stories about A.L.F and ninjas and a non-fiction piece about a blizzard that hit Lake Crystal, my hometown. I scrawled and scratched and illustrated these pieces myself, filling little Gingham print journals to the brim. Was it already here, at such an early age, that I knew I'd be a writer when I grew up?
Or perhaps it was around the age of twelve, when I said something that must have sounded pretty weird and my father turned and asked me, in all sincerity, "Dave, are you on drugs?"
Or perhaps it was in middle school, when I wrote a ten page short story for my English class called "Deadly Forces" whose hero, Axel Gibson, made his way through a perilous and haunted castle in search of an amulet (or something like that). I read the story out loud in front of the class at the request of our teacher and as I read, I could tell my hyperactive classmates were actually paying attention to me, listening to my story, and when the bell rang to end the period, for the first time in our collective memories no one bolted for the door-they stayed to listen to the end of the story, one and all.
Well, I'm certain that by 15 I knew something was up. One day I sat down at our old black and white Mac computer not to play Crystal Quest or Shuffle Puck Cafe, no, but to write a short story that continued to grow and grow like some kind of nuclear waste generated beast, ending in a heavy 400 pages that my mother gamely printed out and had bound at Kinko's, much to my surprise, and when I first held that son of a bitch in my hands I felt a surge of happiness, of completion, and it seemed to me that a heavy manuscript like that might be something I could use to beat back the dark things of this world.