Many years ago, unable to find my place in life, I became a collector of things; books, classical music recordings, wine, photographic equipment, lovers; not much else, really. Whatever money I earned in my various endeavors, it all seemed to go into my collections. They were things that my parents raised me to enjoy, and I suppose they gave me a sense of identity, which, given that I had no other, that was probably more important to me than the things themselves ever were.
I was raised in a family that saw itself in a somewhat aggrandized way. My father loved the English novelists of the 19th century, and fancied himself as a country squire, with his gardens, his books, and his music. He had elitist views on everything, but was never accepted among the elite because he didn't have that kind of money, and was living on credit beyond his means. My mother played along, because it was how she saw herself. But it all came crashing down on us sometime after my formative years, when it was too late for me to change, and I clung to that false identity for lack of any other. As a university student and beyond, I was given to long bouts of depression which got in the way of my studies and my work. My attempts to find my way as a writer were met with no great success. I made a paltry living at it, writing for other people, but I couldn't produce anything of my own. I was, to use the word of girl I had known, effete.
And then one day, I simply gave it all up, left everything behind on the east coast, moved out to Seattle, and then, finally, to Japan. I spent several weeks driving across the country, visited the national parks of the west and kicked out the jams. When I arrived in Seattle I felt reborn, relaxed, relieved, and totally unbound. I spent some time scrounging for work, and once I had that, I began my novel. It flowed out of me like a fall line rapids. Whether or not it's any good is anybody's guess but mine. But it satisfied one of my life's ambitions, gave me something of my own to hang onto, and having it done, it let me move on to find a life that suited me.
Causes Tim Chambers Supports
Occupy Wall Street