Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My name is Erin O'Brien

My name is Erin O'Brien and I am a writer.

I didn't start out that way. I lived through a swirl of confusion, trying to fit my idiotic writer self into a box called Perfect Life, which included the mandatory Successful Career of electrical engineering.

Then in 1994 my brother, the little known author of a book called "Leaving Las Vegas" and profoundly alcoholic John O'Brien, put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. When I emerged from the thick black muck of grief, it occurred to me that, whether I had ten days or ten decades left, life is short. Regarding that old cliche about death and taxes, they aren't kidding about the death part. I was 29.

So I kicked corporate life, put my digits on the keys and the seat of my pants in the seat of the chair.

I am now 40 and have just achieved the humble goal of publishing my first novel. It was hard. That's crying-and-drinking-and-writing -and-rewriting-and-submitting-and-getting rejected-and-breathing hard, not just regular hard. And I did it all again and again and again. But I am here now, undeniably alive.

Kids, don't try this at home.


nancy said...

Yeah you! Too bad we have to learn the lesson the hard way, isn’t it? My sister died of colon cancer when she was 41. It took her death to make me realize that working 70 hours a week trying to please an asshole boss was stupid, especially when I had a wonderful husband at home who wanted more of my time. So now, I have a different job for a lot less money and I work 40 hours a week – no more.

Anyway, I am sorry for the loss of your brother, and I am thrilled for you at publishing a novel. You go girl! (Wow, I am way too white to say that.)

Eddo said...

Very nice to meet you Erin, and your writing is delish.

I wrote a novel, in 30 days. I haven't submitted it to be published, completion of it was enough for me. I needed no feedback or monetary gain... yea right, who am I kidding?

I am way to lazy to go through all the rewrites and resubmitting... maybe one day, but right now I will just enjoy writing on my blog.

I will definitely be back.

P.S. So sorry to hear about your brother

PDD said...

I am very sorry for your loss.

I am very happy that you kicked corporate life, because from what I've read, I believe you are a very talented writer. And I mean that sincerely. I'm no bullshiter.

Aside from my friend genet, who is spectacularly funny, your blogs have to be by far the best I've gazed upon on in this blog universe. And I mean that sincerely. I'm no bullshiter. In fact, I've created a lot of enemies by my no bullshit attitude. Which turned out to be good for me, because quite frankly, those people were getting far too boring and began cramping my style.

I'm looking forward to your next blog.


Anonymous said...

Your style of writing is luring! I read the first paragraph and I cannot stop reading on and on and on. The way you describe things takes a very usual situation and turns it into a hillarious story worth telling!
Keep up the good work!

emmapeelDallas said...

I'm so sorry about your brother. You're an amazing writer yourself, though, and I'm glad to have found you. I'll be back (I linked here from Deborah) and I'll buy your book.


Erin said...

Hey, I was running a Google search on my own name, talking to a friend of mine, and this was the first thing to pop up. Had to check out the work of another Erin O'Brien. Good luck with your writing.

Erin O'Brien, Pennslvania