17 Sep Bro of the Month – Layng Martine, Jr. Always Living Life To The Fullest
What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of? List as many as you like.
It’s hard for me to call much in my life my “accomplishments” because I feel so much is luck, accident of birth, and done with the help of other people. But I’m especially proud of each person in my family and feel we have helped each other pursue the life we each want. I’m also proud of the work I put in on my songs, my NEW YORK TIMES essay, and my book PERMISSION TO FLY.
What qualities do you admire in a parent?
I admire expressed and demonstrated affection for each child. And I admire the willingness early on to give a child responsibility for his actions and decisions.
What do you like to do with your children and grandchildren?
My favorite thing to do with either is to talk with them. That’s where I feel deep contact is made and where I believe true learning from and about each other takes place.
Which people have had the biggest influence on your life?
My Mom, my wife Linda, our sons, and my brother Gene, followed by the people in my book PERMISSION TO FLY…especially singer songwriter musician Ray Stevens.
What public figures do you most admire and why?
Michelle Obama and Mike Bloomberg are two. Both are a great mix of care for others, and practicality.
Please describe your favorite type of day and what it entails.
I love most every day. They generally begin with an early walk (preferably when it’s still dark), setting coffee on my wife’s night table with a brief love note, then breakfast with an interesting, upbeat person. I’m happiest when absorbed by some “mission”…so after breakfast usually comes some form of writing, then lunch with another interesting person, then more writing… end of day is a drink or two with my wife, grilling something simple for dinner…always eaten by candlelight, and outside if possible. On weekends, my wife and I like to take rides, listen to a book in the car…stopping the narrative to talk and discuss when a new thought is presented…all while heading for a country village and a simple, local lunch.
Of all the songs you’ve written, which are your three favorites?
RUB IT IN will always be my sentimental favorite because it’s the first song that enabled me to earn a living, support my family, as a songwriter. After that, about 10 others are tied for second place!
Can you tell us a bit about PERMISSION TO FLY and what inspired you to write it?
My book is called PERMISSION TO FLY because that is what my mom gave me early on. She set me and my rampant curiosity loose to explore, make mistakes. And when I did make mistakes she did NOT rescue me. Instead, she convinced me that I could rescue myself. I fell for that! This assurance that I could rescue myself was the key to figuring out exactly who I was because I tried everything. At least, everything that interested me.
PERMISSION TO FLY is about the life that resulted from this freedom, both the pleasant and the harrowing.
The inspiration for PERMISSION TO FLY was an essay I wrote 10 years ago for THE NEW YORK TIMES about my wife’s and my life since she was crippled in a car accident. The story drew an enormous response from around the world. I felt as though I’d made contact with families, and love-based people and that’s where I felt I was at that time in my life. This response was a wonderful feeling so I just kept writing and it turned into PERMISSION TO FLY.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms? And what is your drink of choice?
Lately I’ve been talking with lots of moms at book clubs all over the place and it’s usually felt like a party because the subjects in PERMISSION TO FLY: love, money, parenting, success, failure, heartbreak (all the boring stuff) and usually get people excited and anxious to pitch in their thoughts. My favorite alcoholic drink is beer…usually a local IPA!
Layng will be reading from and talking about his book on Wednesday, September 18th – 6:30 PM at Christ Church in Greenwich, CT.
Party with Moms will be there and hopes you will too!
Let’s give this hometown boy the welcome he deserves.