Mark Terry

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bug Bite

December 1, 2008
We took my oldest son to a local guitar store to get a "school guitar." That is to say, he has a very nice PRS SE that we bought him, but it's too good (and expensive) a guitar to take to school and leave in a locker and let other teenagers manhandle. He was taking his first guitar, dubbed The Abomination (by his jazz band instructor, but the name stuck), a very, very cheap Behringer, that we bought with an amplifier for about $99. It was a piece of shit and had a warped neck. We'd done a lot to make it as playable as possible, but Ian was playing guitar in jazz band and taking guitar lessons and it was clear The Abomination needed to retire. So we went to Limelight Music in Rochester, MI and shopped for something in the $200 to $250 range that we would feel comfortable being knocked around a band room. He ended up buying a Ibanez G10 (I think that's the designation). Decent guitar, felt good, sounds good, price was right.

While there, I checked out the guitar above (in a brighter red, rather than the tomato red), which is an Epiphone DOT Studio. It was priced at about $280.

I've been saving my pennies for a really good Taylor acoustic that's in the $800 price range, and to-date I've got, about, well, $250...

Man, I was almost ready to buy that Epiphone. It just felt right. Clearly I like the hollow bodies in the electrics because of their cleaner sound, and this one felt great. I even liked it better than my other son's PRS SE semi-hollow body, which is a rockin' guitar for twice the price.

So I sort of planned on going back and buying the Epiphone today. Except I've talked myself out of it. At least... for a little while. I did read a review of the Epiphone that complained that it had tuning problems, although I've read reviews that say the same thing about the PRS SEs, and my notion is that a lot of guitarists think once you tune a guitar it's going to stay tuned forever, and I'm afraid it ain't so, Joe. Guitars, by their very nature, wander out of tune easily.

And it occurred to me that I have been bitten by this guitar collecting bug big-time.

And it reminded me of getting bit by the writing bug back in the 1980s. I've told the story so many times, but I was in college and read an essay by Stephen King about "The Making of a Brand Name," and was inspired to write a short story and the rest is pretty much history. It's easy for me to pinpoint exactly when I got bit by the writing bug.

How about you?

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

I can remember the little contest that sparked my imagination to write a story for it, but I still didn't know I wanted to be a writer. Looking back, my subconscious has wanted to be a writer since I was young, but writing seduced me slowly. I was making regular money before it even occurred to me that I would want to write "for real."

It was really a surprise. I just never thought of it, probably because I was rather focused on and ambitious about piano.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I was fifteen. I had just finished Mila 18 by Leon Uris (which both he and I considered his best novel), and I thought, wouldn't it be fun to write one of these things.

It's been downhill ever since.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I can't remember when I didn't want to write. I drew stories before I could read. When I could read a little I did picture books with a few words and as soon as I could read better I was writing out stories in lined tablets. So I've practiced writing a lot. Too bad I couldn't have started before birth, maybe I'd be further along by now.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Kath Calarco said...

No bites here. Writing was something I did since I was young(er). I am sort of craving getting into photography, though, after seeing my nephew's cool Nikon over the holiday break.

Kids. They'll make you go hi-tech every time.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Hi Mark:
I remember writing a series of "books" about a mouse who lived in the NY Public Libvrary when I was abvout 7. That was it. I was hooked.

More seriously, when I got to college and met my best guy friend there in the creative writing program, that was all we talked about.


10:02 AM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I think you should keep saving for the Taylor. :)

I've been writing creatively in one form or another (poetry, short stories, songs...) for a long time, but I never thought I had what it takes to write the biggie, the novel. A few years ago I decided it was now or never and I went for it and now I wish I had started much sooner.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Zoe Winters said...

I have no idea. I know it really got going sometime in junior high school. I remember wanting to be R.L. Stine, haha. Or Agatha Christie. I went through a mysteries phase while I was still looking down my nose at romance, haha!

But I'm not sure of the exact moment.

I do remember when I found out my dad had written a novel. And then it felt like a family thing.

4:39 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I don't really recall a time when I didn't write. So I guess learning to write anything might have been my prompt. My daughter shows the same bug...every picture has a story.

I'd like to have a guitar. I can't play. But I'd like one.

7:06 PM  
Blogger B. Nagel said...

I think that most writers are packrats. It may not be the physical (guitars, books, knick-knacks and bric-a-brac), but we are very apt at squirreling things away. Like ideas for stories/song/poems/epic trilogies.
In The Narnian, C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying that he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia because it was the type of book he would want to read. That is what I want to do: write the type of book that I would most like to read.

Word Verification: herdlets.
Does that mean that you are really controlling our minds through subliminal text on your blog? Why do I want to buy all of your books for Christmas now?

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