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.
I want to let everyone know where I am with the second Robin Randle story. I struggled to get to the finish-line on this novel. Lots of reasons. I knew what had to happen in the end but I didn’t understand the how of how things got there. It took me awhile to sort that […]
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.
I have been to a few writers workshops where the topic of social media was covered. In the past film companies used to send their stars out to appear at theatres all over the country when a new picture was coming out. It was an opportunity for movie theatre goers of that time to do what we call today a meet and greet. As the studio system in Hollywood fell apart the hold studios had over their stars evaporated the days of film stars touring the country to meet their fans ended. Today the film companies have the stars show up on late night television as a promotional tool and if it is in L.A. or New York they will appear at film premieres and that’s about it.
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.