A lot has happened in the world since I last wrote a blog but there are two reasons why I’ve been silent for so long. The first was my wife had a total knee replacement and she needed 100% of my time while she recovered. Having had two of these operations myself I know the debilitating state your left in. Both physically and psychologically. You need a lot of support that first couple of months. The second thing was getting the book’s manuscript ready for my editor.
I’m still finishing my final edit of my latest novel, Legends of the End I’m sure much to the frustration of my editor. Life has been complicated and sometimes finishing feels more like being stuck on a Möbius strip. I’ve needed to be there for Patti while she recovers from knee replacement and taking that time off has made it difficult to get my rhythm back. Funny for a musician to say that! I have been slogging through the last three chapters of Part One. The bulk of the novel takes place in this part so the stack of pages sitting next to me on my desk is getting smaller.
I’m back from vacation and finished with all the reentry issues you seem to have after being gone awhile. Things like slogging through three thousand emails! Patti and I went back to Block Island for about two and a half weeks of peace. Block Island is thirteen miles off Rhode Island’s coast so it is surrounded by the ocean. Block Island Sound to the north and the Atlantic to the east. Mostly it is cool and breezy there. We stay at a hotel called the Atlantic Inn. It’s like stepping back into time. No TVs in the rooms. No air conditioning so you keep the windows open and get a lot of that wonderful sea air. It’s as close as I can get to taking Patti camping.
If I’m bringing you along for the ride then I should at least start at the birth of the Robin Randle Stories. At the time I was struggling, to put it lightly, with delayed onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The personal particulars aren’t important but what is important is the fact that PTSD is an indescribable thing. I can’t come up with the words that would impart to you the full scope of what it is like to be trapped inside yourself not knowing who the hell you are anymore. At the time I was working on a project I call Mercy Lake. I still want to develop that story but what happened was Robin Randle. She was supposed to be a waitress at a diner in the town of Mercy Lake. I didn’t feel she was going to become a major character in the story but I was having a hell of a time defining who she was at all.
So where do ideas come from? I don’t think that is the question. Ideas are everywhere. All you have to do is get out of your home, get off your phone and look at what’s going on around you. Keep a notebook with you and write things down. I find there are way more ideas than time to develop them. What I wonder about is all the stuff that comes after the idea. Suddenly you are writing about people that never existed that you sometimes put in real places and sometimes made up places. The book I’m writing now takes place on Block Island. As I write I need to step inside the world I’m creating. I have to feel the air, smell the air, touch the world my characters are living in. That means reading about the place, gathering facts, maps, histories and anything else that might matter. I make a lot of notes, flag pages in books and basically devote a shelf in the library to all the topics involved in the story I’m writing.