According to a recent interview with The Atlantic, former Secretary of Defense and Marine Corps General James Mattis wrote the first draft of his book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, entirely in crayon.
“Some of the greatest authors in history have done their best work when isolated from the rest of society where they can think clearly,” said Mattis. “So I locked myself in a cabin for three months to write this book. I brought along some crayons in case I got hungry, and I just ended up using them to write the book, too.”
Mattis isn’t the first Marine to write a book in an unconventional fashion. Eugene Sledge, World War II veteran and author of With the Old Breed, carved the first draft of his book entirely on wooden penises he whittled out of trees on Peleliu.
“War is hell. And, yeah, carrying around a M1941 Haversack full of wooden dicks is exhausting,” said Sledge, “But the only thing that kept me going was knowing that the words carved into these whittled penises would one day tell our story.”
At press time, Mattis announced he would be putting his second book on hold for the time being, as every Marine Corps Exchange in the country was sold out of crayons due to COVID-19.