It's not because the moniker is so deeply coveted. I'm not vying with anybody when I point this out. It's not a competition. It's just a fact, and fairly empirically interesting, that I'm the Humboldt-iest writer ever. No one else even comes close. Nor do I think anyone ever will. Nope, it's me all the way.
It isn't only because I set all of my stories in an alternate Humboldt which I call Humbaba County. I did that because it felt right. I don't favor stories with one-to-one correspondences. Making connections livens reading. I did keep the name Avenue of the Giants. No way I was gonna change that. It serves as the title of one of my books. Most of the rest though adheres to the figurative. REDWOODLAND, HIDDEN SPRINGS, LOST COASTER--I've got stories set all over the county because I've had a shit ton of experiences all over the county for a whole long time.
I read LOST COASTER on KMUD for half a year as a radio show. I've also had chapters serialized in THE TRADER. I've got my books selling in stores all around the county and well into Oregon. Particularly because I've been writing for The Independent every week for the last 14 years, I'm recognized everywhere I go in Southern Humboldt, and lots of places in Northern Humboldt, too.
All of my formal education, from Redway Elementary to Miranda Junior High to South Fork High to College of the Redwoods to Humboldt State University, all right here. I regularly get paid to make redwood burl products. And split wood. I've even been paid to clip bud. I've sat down on the Garberville sidewalk and interviewed transients. I've written about Bigfoot, I've written about surfing. I've been interviewed on the radio and in print multiple times. I've even been mentioned on TV.
I've been paid to act in a play at Ferndale Repertory Theater, and then years later been paid for a print book, THE MESMERIZER, set in the Victorian Village of Fernden with action culminating onstage at the theater. Now that's Humboldt-y.
Not only do I write about levitating hippies battling the forces of globalization, I helped build the Redway car wash. I wrote the grant that got Tooby Park the playground equipment twenty years ago. And with the band I was asked to lead, I even got the first song I ever wrote on the radio: "We Went to Town (On a Bigfoot We Found)." It don't get more Humboldt-y.
I've taught Creative Writing for College of the Redwoods. I've worked for a fishery, a liquor store, a bike rack factory, a Tri-City Weekly offshoot called This Week News and Review. The list just goes on and on.
You couldn't find anybody more iconoclastic or Bohemian than me if you tried. I write the stories that make the whole world high. It's what I do.
Ain't braggin', just the truth. For better or worse--probably worse--I'm the Humboldt-iest writer ever.
I created a genre:
Didn't set out to do it, but I like it fine, anyway. And appropriately enough, it all keeps right on a-growin'.
Thanks for checkin' in. Should have another installment of STRONGBOT in the next couple days.