As I’m still trying to get everything together this week for this blog, I’m cheating and posting my About page info. Next Wednesday I’ll have a brand-new one.
My name is David M. Barnish. I’ve been writing literary fiction both short and long for twelve years now.
Literature Adjacent came from a term I used to describe my place within my circle of friends in accordance to the term ‘nerd’. I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy and comic books but I’ve never dedicated myself to one thing, like a lot of my friends were doing. So I called myself ‘nerd adjacent’–around nerds just not fully stamped nerdy in one particular area. (I’d always deemed myself lit nerdy, but I didn’t have any friends who were also reading 19th-century Russian novels or American SOC.) As I put this blog together, I remember where the term ‘adjacent’ came from that I used so much, and it only seems apropos that I share that with you now.
One day in 2000, while attending ISU, I was watching an episode of MXC with the audio commentary playing (as I was wont to do since I’d seen the show a bazillion times). Mary Scheer, a writer and voice on the show, was talking about the show’s humble beginnings and how their tiny offices were right across the street from a major TV studio. She said she’d always felt Hollywood adjacent–not quite there but with the hopes of one day being there.
Hence, literature adjacent. In one sense, I’ve been adjacent all my life, dubbed the -‘literary friend’. In a second sense, I’m close to literature with the hopes of one day being part of it. But in a third sense, there are so many things that go into writing for me, not just literature. Music inspires me, films inspire me, and so that’s dashed in the mix as well. LitAdj is a blog on art itself with literature (the greatest art form in history) at its center.
‘Outside looking out’ is a personal mantra of mine, brand-spanking new to me. When you’re on the outside looking in, you want to be in, you need to be in, you dream of being in, and you’re willing to do anything to get in. For these years now, I was like poor Louis Tully in ‘Ghostbusters’ before he gets possessed–running around the city, screaming about a bear in my apartment, and running up to the locked door of that swank restaurant and banging on the glass walls, screaming for somebody to let me in.
No more of that. It hurts.
‘On the outside looking out’ is enjoying the fact that you’re on the outside. Being different, being proud of that difference, and in that pride, finding your style, finding your voice, and finding solace in yourself. Also, there’s a bit of the Eastern mindset of actually looking around you that makes you focus inward. When you’re on the outside, look out! Look at the people, the setting, the color. Don’t miss the things around you in your journey.
And that’s what LiteratureAdjacent.com is all about, Charlie Brown.
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