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Dear Reader…have you ever wished you could earn a living by making stuff up? Have you ever fantasized about living the life of a writer? If so, Perpetuating Trouble is the humorous cautionary tale you need to read.
“I avoided writers very carefully because they can perpetuate trouble as no one else can,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. In this memoir, independent author Chris Orcutt shows how true this is.
Debunking the myths, Orcutt reveals that the writing life is really one of crushing solitude, chronic dissatisfaction, mood swings and self-doubt, and where successes, when they come, are like diner mints—sweet, but short-lived. And everyday life is equally stressful, with callous urologists, curmudgeonly painters, flirtatious receptionists, personal feuds and petty thefts. For the writer, all of this leads to one thing—perpetual trouble.
Yet, Orcutt’s deep love of language, his saintly wife, and his indomitable sense of humor keep him going. Whether picking up two female hitchhikers who later turn out to be aliens from another planet, or divesting himself of a hoard of tacky paintings, or using philosophy to get out of a traffic ticket, Orcutt finds the humor and the art in his trials. It’s also a life of love and sadness, as he recounts a whirlwind love affair with a ravishing redhead, and the death of his beloved writing companion, his cat.
In the end, Orcutt discovers that to be a writer, he must be part adventurer, crusader, humorist, lover, philosopher, and, of course, troublemaker.
Perpetuating Trouble is Orcutt’s tenth book, and by far his most personal work to date.