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#spbth

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I've tried writing the caption to this photo about half a dozen times because I long to be understood; misinterpretation scares me. I'm at a constant paradox between feeling that my time is running out and that life is very long. There's a million miles between the day I first felt the spark to tell my story, Thunder Road/Some Place Better Than Here, and today, yet I feel just as young and idealistic as ever. But how long can one man live with a single dream before he succumbs to insanity? Maybe I'm already there, who knows. But what I do know is that #SPBTH will be published by #FriesenPress this upcoming summer, and I will get to see and feel a physical incarnation of my imagination. It's not a million-dollars, but to me it's just as rewarding. The publisher asked for my "authors headshot", so I contacted the only man for the job, @dimoraphoto , and told him I wanted to reinterpret the classic, tried and true, #blackandwhite , hand-on-chin, portrait. There's a few others in the series, ones where I look a little happier, but there's a certain intensity this particular photo captures. And that's the intensity it takes to push through the doubts and fears and challenges of living, all while never losing hope on fulfilling your single, beloved, Dream.

For all my old friends and new friends I've met at #TiFF2016 this is the book cover of the infamous #SomePlaceBetterThanHere I've blabbed about. On the surface, #SPBTH is a love story, but at heart it's a story about breaking familial dysfunction and the price to pay for doing so. The work in its current state is available for free at @wattpad .com just search up my username @landenwakil !
Happy reading and feel free to always start a conversation with me 😊✌🏼️glad to share and discuss ideas.

Photograph by @kevunger ft. the beautiful face of @jennaagilliss

ain't your regular Starbucks coffee πŸ•ΊπŸ»

What is humankind other than the stories that have woven us all together?
#photography #fashion #author #fiction #novel #comingsoon #spbth #youngadult

"Those musicians, those artists, those poets, they were the ones, who, through their music and their words, had taught me how to live and how to feel. They were all outsiders, all a little strange; they'd all been scoffed at and ridiculed on their way to reaching their dreams. Their stories, through song or biography, gave me hope. Now they were all dead."
- Danny, Some Place Better Than Here.
βœ–οΈ
βœ–οΈ
βœ–οΈ
Much to my benefit and grave misfortune, most of my life has been a struggle of straddling reality and fantasy. When I watched the Elvis '68 Comeback Special, grazed the cover of Born To Run, or saw how Brando leaned against his Triumph in The Wild One (all of my leather jacket-clad heroes), I didn't just idolize them, I wanted to BE them. βž–
βž–
βž–
Now, I don't role play as often, (I still catch myself slipping into a character now and then) but in writing Some Place Better Than Here, I channeled my adolescent imaginings and performed alchemy in the sense that I took all the movies, lyrics, and books that inspired me, shaped the way I saw the world, dictated how I allowed an endless summer night to unfold, and created MY perfect story. The quintessential, modern-day American fairytale. It is the song that has been sung by all of my icons before, and I wanted my turn to contribute a verse. I hope they're proud. And if they're not, well, at least I arrived to do my work wearing the uniform.
#leatherjacket .
βž–
βž–
#author #youngadult #yafiction #youngadultbooks #newadult #spbth #comingsoon #americana #vintage #americanvintage #leather #lighting #toronto #newyork #newjersey #tokyo #rocknroll #brucespringsteen #marlonbrando #elvispresley

"If I had to guess, some invisible mist composed of stardust and diesel put a spell on those dumpy streets. Making me, for the first time in my life, sort of glad I was from Gilmore Park, New Jersey." - Danny, SPBTH
.
As a teenager one of my favourite things to do was trek down alley ways and climb downtown fire escapes to the roof. Anything to create a moment, a memory worthy of looking back upon with nostalgia. On many endless summer nights, I took whichever brave patron of the passenger seat on a roofless drive through my empty small-town streets. I've also spent too many nights standing on Mary's doorstep, gazing in through the screen into her broken world beyond the wash of the porch light. The memories, whether they're real or made up, my own or experienced vicariously, allowed me to write Mary's story. And when deciding on a photograph of myself, I needed one that proves I honestly know what the fuck I'm writing about. Clairvoyantly, I set my entire life up to be ready to tell Mary's story. So, no, no more turtle-neck, no suit and tie; only the uniform of a small-town, wannabe James Dean. Hoping he looks like an apparition of Marlon Brandon or Presley. A modern-day, misfit greaser whose 1960's music doesn't exist on anyone else's playlist. Because that's who I was, and in my heart, who I'll always be.
.
Photograph by the one and only @dimoraphoto

"On my drive out to California, I wasn't even myself. My identity forfeited into a car on the road. Without a past or a home, only a destination to go."
-SPBTH, page 368
.
Life is very long, like that drive out to the Golden West. But damn, when you look back in the rear view onto memory lane it goes by all way too fast. I'm about to hit y'all hard with a cliche, but appreciate the moments you're given. God knows all things pass, and sometimes, never come back.
#roadtrip #desert #canvas #landscape #mustang #spbth #america #author #friesenpress #photography #naturephotography

Always photogenic, not always photo-cooperative πŸ•
#ShibaInu #Sheba .
Ps. After wrestling with Shebs for two hours at 1am, I finally got her to accept her ear drops and she's feeling much, much better πŸ˜ƒ #HappyPuppy #HealthyPuppy ---
#wednesday #dogwalking #friends #bestfriends #toronto #canada #america #losangeles #dogsofinstagram #dogsoftoronto #menwithdogs #author #youngadult #fiction #yafiction #spbth #comingsoon #maleauthors #like #follow #love

MOST RECENT

βœ–οΈT-T-T-TOUCH me (or myself) babe / Can't you see that I am not (very) AFRAID βœ–οΈ
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(#TheDoors lyrics for my musically unintelligent friends)
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#jeanjacket #torontophotographer #grunge #hair #toronto #kingwest #author #spbth #youngadult #newadult #youngadultbooks #comingsoon #guyswithlonghair #quotes @celinekir

"What? Stuck in the nineties? What do you mean 'stuck in the nineties'?"
βž–
"Homeboy, chill. I'm kidding. You see? It's a joke. Your jean jacket is just fine, sweetie."
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- Danny / Mary, Some Place Better Than Here .
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#jeanjacket #jean #toronto #torontophotography #torontophotographer @celinekir #author #youngadult #quote #yafiction #youngadultbooks #newadultbooks #newyork #newjersey #americanvintage #spbth #guyswithlonghair #nineties

"Those musicians, those artists, those poets, they were the ones, who, through their music and their words, had taught me how to live and how to feel. They were all outsiders, all a little strange; they'd all been scoffed at and ridiculed on their way to reaching their dreams. Their stories, through song or biography, gave me hope. Now they were all dead."
- Danny, Some Place Better Than Here.
βœ–οΈ
βœ–οΈ
βœ–οΈ
Much to my benefit and grave misfortune, most of my life has been a struggle of straddling reality and fantasy. When I watched the Elvis '68 Comeback Special, grazed the cover of Born To Run, or saw how Brando leaned against his Triumph in The Wild One (all of my leather jacket-clad heroes), I didn't just idolize them, I wanted to BE them. βž–
βž–
βž–
Now, I don't role play as often, (I still catch myself slipping into a character now and then) but in writing Some Place Better Than Here, I channeled my adolescent imaginings and performed alchemy in the sense that I took all the movies, lyrics, and books that inspired me, shaped the way I saw the world, dictated how I allowed an endless summer night to unfold, and created MY perfect story. The quintessential, modern-day American fairytale. It is the song that has been sung by all of my icons before, and I wanted my turn to contribute a verse. I hope they're proud. And if they're not, well, at least I arrived to do my work wearing the uniform.
#leatherjacket .
βž–
βž–
#author #youngadult #yafiction #youngadultbooks #newadult #spbth #comingsoon #americana #vintage #americanvintage #leather #lighting #toronto #newyork #newjersey #tokyo #rocknroll #brucespringsteen #marlonbrando #elvispresley

I want to see it painted,
Painted,
Painted,
Painted,
Black,

Yeah.
βž–
βž–βž–
βž–βž–βž–
βž–βž–βž–βž–
βž–βž–βž–βž–βž–
βž–βž–βž–βž–βž–βž–
#tiff17 #toronto #tiff #photography #torontophotography #newyork #newjersey #author #youngadult #yafiction #spbth #therollingstones #vintage #americanvintage #britishinvasion #rock #grunge #longhair

βž–
This is going to be a very personal post.
βž– βž–
....... Just recently, someone that I shared what I valued to be one of my most sacred bonds with hurt me in an unimaginable way. The action this individual committed is far from catastrophic, but the emotional wound left a gash in my spirit. βž–
The absolute bafflement I experienced wholly eclipsed any other emotion I could have felt. Solely because I was so stupefied someone could be so insensitive, so apathetic. But perhaps that's a result of my own naivety.
βž–
βž–
There are wicked forces at work in this world. And they conspire under the guise of greed, jealousy, egotism, selfishness, and other agents of the same kind. βž–
Given how far mankind has evolved, how enlightened our collective human consciousness is, we can contextualize our actions in the form of empathy - our greatest evolutionary gift. We can understand the affect our actions have on others. Given our intellectual privilege over our kin in the animal kingdom that still rely on survival instincts, we have a responsibility to one another in our human family. βž–
And that responsibility is treating each other with mutual respect. Understanding that your human brothers and sisters all have complicated emotions, they are all struggling. And if you are someone in a position to be kind, to be empathetic to the hidden strifes someone may be facing, well then you just gotta fucking seize that responsibility. It's the trade off for our standing propitiousness. We have dominance over how we choose to treat others. And be very careful in which you choose, because as we all know, these things have a way of coming back around.
#photography #emotional #prose #writer #youngadult #bokeh #canonpowershot #vscocam #toronto #torontophotography #newjersey #newyork #tokyo #japan #japanese #americana #author #spbth #sunset #jean #library #librarian #follow

"Most boys will grow up to be men who will only ever set their sights on the pavement that leads them to their mothers house, the church hall on their wedding day, through the factory gates, only to U-turn back around and hitch the only free ride life ever gives you; to the grave."
- Danny, Some Place Better Than Here
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#bokeh #newyork #torontophotography #fiction #comingsoon #author #leatherjacket #greaser #photography #youngadult #yafiction #marlonbrando #american #moto #longhairman #instagood #losangeles #books #spbth #canonpowershot

πŸŽ¨πŸŽ†πŸ€ΈπŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

randoms: "Fabio! Your hair! Your HAIR! What's the secret??" πŸ‘…
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me: "Sweat, motherfucker." πŸ–•πŸΌπŸ’πŸ½
πŸ€”
---
#photography #photoshoot #toronto #menwithlonghair #newyorkcity #newjersey #losangeles #author #youngadult #teenreads #wattpad #yafiction #novel #comingsoon #spbth #love #unicorns #yaoi #lol #do #you #read #the #hashtags ??

"I wish I could have told him he was beautiful when he was black."
- Mary, Some Place Better Than Here
---
#vintage #records #vinylcollection #recordstore #michaeljackson #offthewall #thriller #author #comingsoon #yafiction #youngadult #novel #spbth

"I could see it all. The deserts. The valleys. The mountains. Mary's hair blowing back in the wind, twisting and tangling like the rhymes of a Bob Dylan song."
---
I first wrote that line of Mary's hair "twisting and tangling like the rhymes of a Bob Dylan song," when I was 17 years old on the first day of senior year in the cafeteria at 7am. (Do i remember anything else from senior year? Nope.)
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That line was also featured in a now interred prologue for SPBTH. Back when that line was first written, I had NO idea it was to find home ensconced in the prose of Chapter 18. I suppose what that line has taught me is to never discredit your amateurish creative baby-steps. A lot of your early work will SUCK. But buried within your early work was some sort of creative spark that encouraged you to pick up a pen, a guitar, a paint brush, a camera and just go for it. The genius exists at birth, such as it is with human life. It is through the process of maturation that we refine our primordial talents.
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That line set the stage for the body of the story that was to come. As an artist, go back through your rough drafts. Reflect on your early work; study it, understand and try to remember what was racing through your unconscious creative mind while your muse was at play. And you may just remember what made you so passionate to begin with - and by remembering what made you so passionate, may just so happen to help you finish.
@dimoraphoto
#love #yafiction #friday #creative #artist #writing #novel #youngadult #SPBTH #comingsoon #maleauthors #torontophotography #toronto #losangeles #newyorkcity #paperback #rippedjeans

"There's not a single stretch of paved road in this country that doesn't connect to every other. Highway, freeway, backstreet, dead-end, a street winding around in a crescent, the Nevadan Interstate; any two lanes will do just fine. They're all connected. Inviting anyone with the will and an adventurous soul to chase a rising or setting sun. All you got to do is drive."
-Danny, SPBTH

#author #spbth #published #novel #youngadult #friesenpress

ain't your regular Starbucks coffee πŸ•ΊπŸ»

"If I had to guess, some invisible mist composed of stardust and diesel put a spell on those dumpy streets. Making me, for the first time in my life, sort of glad I was from Gilmore Park, New Jersey." - Danny, SPBTH
.
As a teenager one of my favourite things to do was trek down alley ways and climb downtown fire escapes to the roof. Anything to create a moment, a memory worthy of looking back upon with nostalgia. On many endless summer nights, I took whichever brave patron of the passenger seat on a roofless drive through my empty small-town streets. I've also spent too many nights standing on Mary's doorstep, gazing in through the screen into her broken world beyond the wash of the porch light. The memories, whether they're real or made up, my own or experienced vicariously, allowed me to write Mary's story. And when deciding on a photograph of myself, I needed one that proves I honestly know what the fuck I'm writing about. Clairvoyantly, I set my entire life up to be ready to tell Mary's story. So, no, no more turtle-neck, no suit and tie; only the uniform of a small-town, wannabe James Dean. Hoping he looks like an apparition of Marlon Brandon or Presley. A modern-day, misfit greaser whose 1960's music doesn't exist on anyone else's playlist. Because that's who I was, and in my heart, who I'll always be.
.
Photograph by the one and only @dimoraphoto

We're actually not cheering for the weekend, we're cheering to be as damn cool as @go1d_music 😎πŸ₯‚ #sharpmagazine

What is humankind other than the stories that have woven us all together?
#photography #fashion #author #fiction #novel #comingsoon #spbth #youngadult

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