“We imagine memory to be something that records or preserves the truth and that’s not what it does at all—it transforms what happened.”
Devoted listeners are well-acquainted with the gravelly voiced, predictably disheveled, typically homeless, chronically self-deprecating, sometimes tortured, but always charming, self-avowed nomadic povertarian commonly known as Mishka Shubaly – back on the podcast for a record-breaking 7th appearance.
A writer oozing talent from his already overactive sebaceous glands, Mishka pens true stories about drink, drugs, disasters, desire, deception, and their aftermath. He began drinking at 13 and college at 15. At 22, he received the Dean’s Fellowship from the Master’s Writing Program at Columbia University. Upon receipt of his expensive MFA, he promptly moved into a Toyota minivan to tour the country nonstop as a singer-songwriter, often sharing the stage with comedians like Doug Stanhope and musical acts like The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
But mostly he drank.
It sounds glamorous. It wasn’t. At 32, Mishka hit bottom, got sober and laced up a pair of running shoes. In between ultra marathons, he began publishing a string of #1 bestselling Kindle Singles – short non-fiction novellas — through Amazon. The Long Run*, his mini-memoir detailing his transformation from alcoholic drug abuser to sober ultrarunner, to this day remains one of the best-selling Kindle Singles in Amazon history.
Today, Mishka’s on the cusp of releasing his very first book book. I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You – A Life On The Low Road* hits bookstores everywhere March 8, 2016.
Brutally honest, fiercely emotional and muscular in its prose, it’s the booze-fueled, opiated account of a precocious young underachiever trying to be good (and failing and failing) until one day he succeeds. It’s about serial abandonment, school shootings, alcoholism, loneliness, artistic frustration, faith, guilt, sobriety, running, relationships, resentment, revenge, music, art, and creativity. It’s about one man’s attempt to reckon with the wreckage of his past and his journey to reconcile his relationship with his family, and most importantly, to forgive the father that jettisoned him.
I love Mishka like a brother. I love this book. And I love this conversation.
Peace + Plants,
P.P.S. – If you are an aspiring writer, consider taking Mishka’s writing course at Yale University this summer.
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Mishka’s Kindle Singles:
- Of Mice and Me *
- The Long Run *
- Beat The Devil *
- Shipwrecked *
- Bachelor Number One *
- Are You Lonesome Tonight? *
Background, Context & Reference:
- Pre-Order: I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You* by Mishka Shubaly
- NYTimes: Questions Outweigh Answers In Shooting Spree at College by Anthony DePalma
- iTunes: Coward’s Path by Mishka Shubaly
- No Depression: Mishka Shubaly: Coward’s Path
- Top40: Alcoholic Turned Ultra Runner Mishka Shubaly To Release ‘Coward’s Path’
- Yale: Summer Session Writers Conference
- The Moth: Mishka Shubaly: Shipwrecked
- CNN: A Marathon for Boston
- The Fix: Let Me Do Sobriety My Way
- Diffuser: [VIDEO] ‘I Can’t Remember When You Were Mine’
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- James Altucher: entrepreneur, bestselling author, and podcaster
- Ramit Sethi: finance advisor and entrepreneur
- Henry Charles Bukowski: poet, novelist, and short story writer
- Robin Arzón: lawyer turned fitness evangelist
- Jonas Salk: medical researcher and virologist
- Doug Stanhope: stand-up comedian
- Brett Erickson: stand-up comedian
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP 27: Mishka Shubaly
- RRP 31: Mishka Shubaly interviews Rich
- RRP 65: Mishka Shubaly on “Beat The Devil”
- RRP 95: John Joseph & Mishka Shubaly
- RRP 99: Ambassador of Sweat & Swagger-Robin Arzón
- RRP 104: Mishka Shubaly, Modern Day Ganesh
- RRP 171: Mishka Shubaly on Forgiveness, Authenticity & Life As A Sober Artist
- RRP 173:Ask Me Anything, Shame Can’t Survive The Light
The show concludes with Mishka’s song Ohio from his new album Cowards Path. Special thanks to Tom Medvedich for graciously allowing me use of his photography in today’s podcast. The transitional song is a new demo entitled My Girl by Ana Leimma. Show notes & additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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