Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Musing about Mickey Spillane

More about Mickey Spillane.

During the short span of time I spent with him, I learned that Mickey was determined to be true to his own vision of himself. It sounds easy, but I think many of us get distracted and don’t succeed to the degree we might want to, if we cared about the concept to begin with.

It seems that when he felt his ego was guiding him, rather than the better forces of nature, he would do some clean up work at his church, or some other mundane task you might think a world famous writer would avoid.

When it was pointed out to him once, he admitted that he hadn’t been feeling very humble and believed that to be weakness he didn’t value in himself. So he picked up a rake and cleared leaves from the church property’s front yard.

He also had a strong New York sense of humor. Which, I think of as often subtle, yet takes advantage of presented absurdity when such can be exploited.

Mickey expressed this perfectly while participating in a writer’s conference. I believe he was 80 at the time. An attendee handed Mickey a postcard and asked him to write on the back his secret for living a long life.

I own the card, and have included it for you to see his answer: Don’t Die!

Of course, he signed it too, as if to be certain that no one was mistaken who provided the astute response.

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