Friday, June 19, 2015

Writing helped me quit smoking

There’s a big reason why some of my characters smoke cigarettes: so I don’t.

From age 16 til I was 26 I smoked cigarettes. It never was due to addiction, meaning I was never a pack a day smoker. I just enjoyed smoking… for however dumb and retarded a habit it was for me.

It took 3 attempts for me to finally be able to quit. The last time I actually did quit (the others were failed attempts), I had 3 solid motivations to stop:

  1.        I was getting colds that lasted 3 months or more.
  2.        I almost drowned while surfing when I got caught by a set inside.
  3.        My wife was highly allergic to smoke.

If you’re wondering, no one asked me to quit. It wasn’t imposed and I just saw clearly when it was time to stop. Mind you, I made this decision at a point in my life when I could get free cigarettes by the carton because I worked on the advertising account of one of the major tobacco companies.

I should also clarify: I never smoked because of peer pressure or to please anyone. If that had been the case, I would have tried plenty of other drugs, which I never did because I was never interested. Trust me, on more than one occasion I had to firmly say thank you but NO thank you.

I smoked out of curiosity and eventually I grew to really enjoy cigarettes and still fondly remember sharing a cigarette or three over good conversation.

Luckily, I realized it wasn’t worth it and I quit.

I’ve been asked more than once about why a character in my book smokes so much.

Liam Dalrey is a vampire who is ashen colored, is several hundred years old and smokes incessantly.

The reason for this is far from noble: he smokes so I don’t.

You see, to cope with any desire to smoke, he takes one for team Estrada, which is why he’s so special in my life. Thanks to him, I don’t need to smoke. Plus, he smokes also because he’s a vampire. Unlike humans, he won’t get throat, mouth or lung cancer. He won’t get yellow fingers nails or month long colds. Between that and being captured in my stories, he can live forever…. And at the same time, he helps me live a little longer and a little healthier as well, which isn't half bad for a writer who has a lot on his mind.

Here's to living healthy with whatever help we need.

Peace, love, and maki rolls. 

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