Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 21, 2016
This is more of a 'foreword' to an idea that came upon me as I watched a concert. First, I would like to thank the source of this inspiration. He does not really know that it was an inspiration, and he probably never intended for any moment to be some revelation or inspiration. Nonetheless, Bart has this gift at music and the bands to which he has belonged over the course of the last thirty years exist not only to practice their gift, but to share.

Last night I attended a concert hosted by Bart for the band Kerosene Dream. It was that concert which really helped this new concept develop in my mind.

You see, to me, his music is quintessential summer music. Feel good music. As I sat listening to a song, I was transported back in time to one of those aforementioned moments. As I remembered that time, it became a new singular focus on one specific moment which helped to define a bigger moment. To me, that was all the inspiration I needed to come up with this new concept.

At this point, I now have several projects in the pipeline of my mind and there will be some trickiness to working these projects without completely losing focus, but that is my intention. The great thing about Moments in Time is that each moment in this concept equates to a short story about that moment. Each one of these moments is a reflection of my past and will be fairly straightforward to write.

Why is this so important? Because it is something I can work on while I work on other projects. Is there bound to be some bleed over from my memories of these moments into my fiction? Absolutely. But, you know what, there is going to be that bleed through whether I am writing about those moments or not. What I hope for is that these moments in time, and the manner in which I present each moment, will actually hone my other writing. I hope that the memories shared will make my fiction sharper, more well rounded, and better.

Is the opposite possible as well? By that I mean, can these diversions create worse writing on the fiction side? Sure. It could make the line between real and imaginary too obvious. I could find myself essentially retelling my life story though fiction. Quite honestly, unlike many writers, I do not feel my life story is something which is interesting enough about which a book could be written.

Much of my life is 'cookie-cutter' bland. That blandness, that sort of ho-hum, apple-pie, fifties sitcom quality does not mean I have nothing upon which fiction could be drawn. That is where these moments in time come into play.

As an example, the book Fragments of Humanity came from one of these moments. I really did meet three teen aged kids who were running away when I decided to bolt from 29 Palms. We really did ride a bus from San Bernardino to Las Vegas. That is where the similarities between my life and my fiction ended. On a bus.

Recently I read through a small article from a fabulous literary agent, and in her 'Pub Rant' she mentions that concept of conflict. A protagonist in conflict creates a much better story. This come from the well known Faulkner quote:The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.”

When I left, there was some conflict within my own heart, but the story that followed is too blah for a story, so I took that moment and created much greater conflict. the manner in which it was presented was necessarily gruesome. But that is what I aspire to write. No, not gruesome, but the grittier side of our world to which we are not all exposed. 

The book Moments in Time, however, will be those snippets upon which stories might be built. Moments of an ordinary life which bring extraordinary memories. It is with great hope where all journeys begin. So too is there great hope for this concept in my mind.

I am grateful for the inspiration, and grateful for that wicked muse which hovers inside my mind guiding my hands to write.


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