Mat Thomas is a writer
At least, that is how he has made his living since the year 2000. He is currently the Senior Communications Specialist at Health Plan of San Mateo, a nonprofit Community Organized Health System (COHS) serving about 145,000 low-income people. Aside from being a business writer, Mat has also been an animal rights activist, advocacy journalist and freelance marketing mercenary. His “professional” writing is at ultrawriting.com, and his advocacy work is on animalrighter.org.
Mat lives in San Francisco, one block from Golden Gate Park, which is where he writes most of this blog. He often visits a shiny silver pirate who lives in the park nearby. Aside from that, there is nothing even remotely interesting about Mat or his life. Except for what goes on inside his mind. For instance:
was born in a dream
One of Mat’s dreams, actually. Not the Martin Luther King, Jr. type: the sleeping kind. As Mat tells it:
1987, senior year of high school, middle of the night. I have a dream, the details of which I cannot remember anymore. But I cannot forget the ending. A deep voice, exactly like James Earl Jones (Darth Vader, without the heavy breathing), the sound audible not just in my head but physically in my ear, booming like God:
BENJAMIN EDISON, NOVELIST
Then I wake up. My eyes flash open as I literally sit bolt upright in sheer wonder. It was literally my calling. If I’ve ever had a “religious” experience, that was it. The Universe told me to write novels under the pen name Benjamin Edison.
Being an author has been my dream ever since I realized that stories were written by people: that they didn’t just appear in nature like trees or cats. I was eight years old when I wrote my first fiction. But now, a full 30 years after my dream-vision, I find I’ve ignored my true calling: fiction. And I’ve neglected Benjamin Edison. Left him to rot, as it were, in my subconscious.
Despite my unforgivably disrespectful inattention, Benjamin is still there, still part of me. He is partially developed as an identity. Meaning, I have a good idea who Benjamin is. He’s a science fiction writer. One with an absurd, bemused but ultimately compassionate view of existence: especially humanity and all living creatures. He is generally considered something of a hack by those few souls who have ever even heard of him. But to him, that’s a badge of honor. He resembles Kilgore Trout more than, say, Kurt Vonnegut or Theodore Sturgeon. Mainly because he’s not a real person: he’s purely fictional.
But, for my purposes at least, Benjamin is completely undeveloped as a novelist: basically nonexistent. And sort of like Pinocchio became a real boy, I hope that Benjamin Edison will become a real novelist. That he will, someday, write actual novels that exist in the real world. Or rather, that he and I will write novels in his name.
This blog is where Benjamin Edison begins. Benjamin and I will write it together. Sometimes he will write, sometimes I will write, sometimes we will converse before your very eyes.
This is how I intend to bring Benjamin Edison into being. With written words that you can read.
We shall see.