Things happen when they’re supposed to

Things happen when they’re supposed to. I didn’t make that up. In fact, it’s a cliché. But that doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

I find it comforting when I start to think I should have written my first novel long before I did. All that wasted time, right? Well, no.

One of the first things they teach you in writing class is to write what you know. It took me a long time to know anything. I’m still not sure I do, but I’ve gotten better at faking it. As Springsteen says in “Brilliant Disguise,” God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of.

I started “Dice Angel” in my early 40s. I guess that’s how long it took me to find something to say. By that time, life had beaten the crap out of me more than once and I was starting to figure a few things out. You’ve got to earn your point of view.

I was also developing a thicker skin, extremely helpful in any creative endeavor. Plenty of haters out there. Plenty of wannabes, has-beens and never-weres, too, often dressed up like agents, publishers and critics. It’s easy to lob in grenades from the sidelines, like those old guys in the balcony on the “Muppet Show.” (That’s why I love this quote so much.) As a younger man, I would have believed them.  Now I know better.

So I’m glad I waited. Now I’m having fun.

Things happen when they’re supposed to.