Zen Bandit. Cool name. Where'd it come from?

A couple of years ago, I was asked to write up some manners guidelines for people coming to a film festival. It seems that all the invited directors & producers & stars felt like they didn't have to follow the same rules as the rest of us. Except this particular film festival wanted to be known as a film festival where the rest of us & the directors & producers & stars could all hang out together in one big, happy family. 

So, I wrote up a quick guide to manners & wrote it under the name Zen Bandit, with the tagline 'Saying Hard Things as Nicely as Possible'. Even now that we've left the dark, dark Bush years behind us, I still think that we might be in for a time when it'll help to be able to say hard things as nicely as possible. So, the Zen Bandit rides again. In a manner of speaking.

Zen Bandit. Stupid name. Why are you using that?

Because I love it when I can do things that bug you so much it keeps you frothing at the mouth. Seriously, I wish I could do more of it. Especially after that one night last summer when you leaned against my dwarf maple tree in a drunken stupor & broke off that absolutely beautiful branch. The one that'll take about forty years to grow back.

I'm really glad you got your shoe stuck in the mud that night & had to leave it. It'll come in handy if I ever have to send the dogs after you.

OK. Who are you really & why do you feel you have to hide behind the mask of the Zen Bandit?

In my non-Zen Bandit life, I'm known as Brian Andreas. I'm the artist & writer who does StoryPeople. I write REALLY short stories (I mean it. Really short. Like 20 words sometimes). I paint loose, bright watercolors & put stories on them, too. Then, I put all the stories in books. Nine, so far. 

I don't really feel I have to hide. I just like the name Zen Bandit & it covers an entire alternate universe of my life. Because a lot of my work doesn't really fit under StoryPeople. I think many artists are like that. So, I paint canvases. I sculpt wood. I write really short stories. I cook. I have long conversations with the people I love & much shorter conversations with people I don't. I make books. I devour urban fantasy on my Kindle (at least, lately. I have a few non-fiction thingies I'm reading, too, but those are mainly to prove I have a broad set of interests when someone asks to see my Kindle on a plane...) I'm one of the key parents for a couple of smart & talented young men. There are probably a couple of other things I've skipped in there, but that'll be an excuse for a future conversation.

Oh yeah. I blog. Mwa-ha-ha.

You seem darker than you are on StoryPeople.

Of course, I'm darker. I'm a human being. I'm also more sarcastic & given to flights of complete & utter lunacy. I love a good conspiracy theory. I love to make fun of organized religion, including economics. I usually stay away from politics, not because it's not absurd, but because everybody already has that ground pretty well covered & I've got better things to do than hash over the same old arguments again & again & again. I love to play & do it in a heartbeat. This is more polarizing than you can imagine, because there are people who love it & there are people who despise it. The people who despise it should probably go somewhere else, because I can guarantee that I don't really care about being serious. I mean, LOOK AT THE WORLD, PEOPLE! Look where being serious has gotten us. Isn't it about time we tried to be creative & playful & loving instead? 

OK. That's enough for now...