A while back, I saw that Barrelhouse put out a call for "Dive Bar Stories," and I knew right away that I wanted to write one and submit it--for two reasons: The more obvious one--Barrelhouse has been doing some great work for the last couple years, putting out a great magazine. The less obvious one (at least to you, that is)--I didn't have a specific dive bar story I wanted to tell, but I had a particular dive bar I wanted to write about.

Well, there was a story I pretty much wanted to get at, and I wanted to get at it by way of a particular bar, but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. What I did: I took my laptop to the bar one afternoon while the Cubs were playing. On my way from the parking lot to the bar, I ran into a former student, and we chatted for a bit, and I told him over the course of our conversation about my plan to go to the bar to write for a while. He chuckled like I was telling a joke, and I didn't bother to let him know that I was telling the truth.

I ended up doing just as I planned--going to the bar, ordering a Coors Light, and starting the essay. I wrote a couple thousand words that afternoon and eventually went home and then spent the next few days away from the bar, shaping what I'd written.

And the good news: My essay "Home of the Poor and Unknown" is forthcoming in the next issue of Barrelhouse.

I couldn't be happier, though I'm a little worried some part of my brain is going to start encouraging me to write in bars while drinking more frequently.


fringes said...

Congratulations, Chad. You are still one of my absolutely favorite writers. Can't wait to say I knew you when...

Anonymous said...

your students call that writing "hemingway style".