Does everyone grow up, knowing what they want to do, watching it emerge out of childhood and take form?
I did, but that’s all history now, and it’s as odd as it is clear. Odd because not one other person in the world out of the thousands I’ve met wanted the same thing.
It put me on a strange journey and one I’ve enjoyed more than anything I imagined.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
New: We’ve Got A New Novel…
An artist, a man, a failure, MUST PROCEED.
E. E. Cummings
The Tiny Room
By the time I turned sixteen, I had a notebook of poems on the floor under my bed. Unfortunately, my sister tossed them when I was away on one of my teenage escapades.
But my love for words as tools started earlier. I noticed it first when I was in the fifth grade in a Binghamton public school.
I wasn’t a good student, but I remember this first essay about people living on the moon — a decade before the first lunar landing. Not only was it a rare burst of enthusiasm breaking through the tedium, it was a hit.
My teacher, Mrs. Kenyon, made only a single correction. My use of the word “inhabitants” was too much for my age, and it was my first lesson in learning to write simply, like conversation. It also explains my hatred for James Fenimore Cooper and a lot of the other pleasure-crushing density we were then forced to read in school.
My teacher liked my writing so much that, later, she assigned me to read another essay, this one on sassafrass trees, to a sixth grade class.
Novels started early too. My first, scratched out on lined, school paper, featured an interracial romance, but in a million years, I can’t tell you were that idea came from. Certainly not from experience, but race relations were a hot topic then, the early Sixties. Maybe I absorbed something.
And, sneakily, when I was sixteen, journalism popped up. It was unexpected because a recruiter suggested it when I considered joining the Navy in 1965. Whoever thought sailors wrote newspapers?
A little later, my admiration for Tom Cawley, a columnist for the Binghamton Press surfaced, and after we met, he wrote a three part series that started with me. He thoughtfully, evenhandedly covered my commitment to resisting the Vietnam War and the hideous draft that went with it.
All of them — poetry, fiction, articles and journalism — fill up my professional life now. And it’s not as if there’s never been competition. From making a lot of money in technology sales to not much working with vocationally challenged adults, I’ve gained tons of experience and met countless unforgettable people.
A great journey.
But it’s writing, working with words, that came first. And never went away.
By the time I was 20, I’d read and loved a lot of e. e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, Carl Sandberg and many others, but out of all that, this line, not one from any poem, was the phrase I wanted to live with.
It didn’t say, “Never give up,” the standard prescription for success.
No, it said, “You can’t.”
A lesson learned countless times, brokenhearted, out of money, betrayed, stuck with unhappy choices. But you have to get on with it.
Do your best, take the risks and enjoy the pleasures. The pleasures are far more numerous, as it turns out.
The consistent thing, throughout my life, from my first aborted teenage novels and poems, is words. Words put together make sentences, verses, paragraphs, stories and revelations.
Words, kept me sane and organized. They taught that they were nothing more than symbols, and symbols are conceptual, imaginary, dynamic. They are never real things but, for many, as close as they will ever get.
Try Some Free Chapters
You can find all of my books and Kindle short stories on my Author Page. Every one includes a Read Inside feature. Look around. Maybe something will ring a bell.
Try a sample chapter: Lucky To Have Her
Some favorite fiction…
My most ambitious projects were always novels. In a novel, even though you hook into a world you know, you’re creating a universe in the mind of your reader.
That’s exciting because you go there too.
Here are a few favorites….
Luckiest… Happiest Man…
Some favorite poems…
My second love is poetry, partly I think, because almost nobody reads it, even though it can be the most intense, on point hit ever. It reaches in and pulls something out. Then, you make it into verses.
Odd though it may seem now, I started writing poems in my mid-teens. Can’t remember what made me start. It was just there, I guess.
Seemed an odd mix though. Baseball and poetry…
Funny though, I never wrote anything about baseball in verse.
David Stone Writer and Journalist
That said, at this writing, my main occupation is The Roosevelt Island Daily, a local online newspaper here in New York City of which I’m founding editor and publisher. I also recently launched a companion: Roosevelt Island News
This blog, into which I’ve consolidated all the others I’ve been managing, is a work in progress where I hope to extend the boundaries of free speech and awareness.
Having been disappointed with once promising article writing sites, like Squidoo, HubPages and Seekyt, I decided, as I have with so many other things, to make up my own rules to the broadest extent possible. WordPress lets me do that.
My books are on my Amazon Author Page.
Best seller, all time…
Originally from Binghamton, New York, David Stone is a New York City based writer of novels, nonfiction books, online content on several platforms as well as a hard copy journalist and reviewer.
He is the author of the Travels With George series of cat adventure and travel books that are illustrated by his wife, cat artist Deborah Julian.
“My novels spring from a backdrop of the revolutionary Sixties, when the sleepy Post War American conformity and contentment was blown apart from more angles than you can count – civil rights, Vietnam, modern art, beats, hippies and the counterculture. My main character, Peter McCarthy, had his most formative experiences in the Sixties. But then, the energetic decade fell into the disillusion of the Seventies. Peter navigates his way through and beyond.”
“I don’t know how to explain my nonfiction books, which I never expected to write. But there they were. I had to type them out and put them between covers. These were two of the most surprising, exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.
The Cat Books
“I’m lucky to be married to an artist who loves travel and cats as much as I do. I managed to recruit her to make my stories of George and Billy’s travels come alive in full color (often funny) illustrations.”
What’s on the David Stone Writer blog…?
- Hochul criticized by Cuomo accuser for not demanding Malatras resign from SUNY
Steve Bittenbender | The Center Square contributor/Dec 7, 2021 Special to The Roosevelt Island Daily News (The Center Square) – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul faced criticism Tuesday, one day after refusing to […]
- From Peace, Love & Understanding to Soulless Careerists, a Generational Divide
On the cusp of the hippie movement, the pathway for soulless careerists was already under construction. Hooks were, also, in the water, fishing for strays. From discoveries about who and what we […]
- Writing Isn’t Always Profitable, But You Don’t Have to Miss the Mortgage
By Patrick Young Assorted Ideas, Large & Small Whether you’re working on a children’s book, the next novel to rival the Harry Potter series, or a poem to define a generation, making […]
- RETHINKING WORK — AND LIFE
Americans are quitting bad jobs in record numbers because they’re rethinking what matters. By Jim Hightower | December 1, 2021/ OtherWords Assorted Ideas, Large & Small Rethinking Work As a writer, I get stuck […]
- Modern Republican Values: One nation under Trump, with mendacity and COVID-19 for all.
By Khalil Bendib | December 1, 2021/OtherWords.org More from Assorted Ideas, Large & Small