6's & 7'S
and all things crazy
When I asked, "What is the craziest thing you have ever done?" I got a huge response from writers, homemakers, musicians, ex-pats---pretty much you name it! Today, meet Darren R. Leo, an amazing writer, adventurer, and pirate.
I'm a Writer by Darren R. Leo
The craziest thing I’ve ever done…this is a challenge for me because I’m actually crazy, as in I’ve been locked up in the nuthouse, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest crazy. Don’t worry. I took my meds today.
Since mental illness isn’t very entertaining, I’ll cast my line elsewhere. I have streaked through a Vegas casino. I joined the army because my truck broke down, and there was a recruiting office across the street. I’ve skydived, rock climbed, cliff jumped, and climbed a bunch of mountains. I did stupid tricks in the town square of Jackson, WY just to see how much money people would give me. I was in an all out, chair throwing, Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse bar fight in Panama City, FL. Most of those were in my younger days, but I loaded a pack and hiked the Appalachian Trail when I was forty five. My far better half is pretty sure there is a perpetual eight year old trapped inside of me.
I think the craziest thing I’ve done though is become a writer. I had a very successful career in the hotel industry for many years. They gave me awards, lofty job titles, and they paid me really well. I never liked my career, but I did like the paychecks. After my very long walk on the AT, I came home, applied to grad school, and started writing a book. I tried returning to the world of wearing a tie. It resulted in another trip to the loony bin. I crossed some Rubicon along the way, and there was no going back. So, I’m Darren, purveyor of words. I no longer have a gold card, but I also never wear a tie.
That book I started became The Trees Beneath Us, and I was fortunate enough to sell it to Stark House Press. It is being released at the end of June, and I’m wicked excited. It is the story of a man struggling with grief and pondering suicide while hiking the Appalachian Trail. They say, “write what you know,” right? Despite the weighty subject matter, it is at heart a road trip book, and I think it is downright funny…but I’m crazy so my opinion is always suspect.
Mental illness is a very serious matter. I mock it because it is my way of confronting and coping with my illness.
I’m Darren, and I’m a crazy writer.
We ALL have a little crazy in us, so I ask: What's the craziest thing you have ever done?
Every week, meet a new person, right here, sharing their story.
Do you have a great crazy story to tell?
Email me or DM me on Twitter or Facebook and get ready to spill your crazy.
And in the meantime, check out:
The Craziest Thing with Derek Flynn
The Craziest Thing with Erica Lucke Dean
The Craziest Thing with Jerry Underhill
The Craziest Thing with Amy Beech
The Craziest Thing with Lorca Damon
Follow me on Twitter @KellySGamble
Like me on Facebook at K Stone Gamble
Visit my writing blog