Friday, July 22, 2016

Receiving My Brother in the Mail

Two boxes, left on my doorstep.
I recognized the sender, but wondered what he could be sending me. 
The boxes didn’t feel very heavy. 
So I opened one and carefully pulled back the bubble-wrap … imagine that, a clay mask of my brother’s face!

At this point the writer’s imagination ran wild. It was like someone had opened the paddock and all the horses ran free, all except one, common sense. Yes, it’s a small pony that often comes trotting out, slowly, long after the mustangs have raced off into the wild.

I had not just found Data’s head, like in the Star Trek TNG episode “Time’s Arrow”. I had merely received the mold and plaster cast the very talented sculptor, Edward Trobec, had used when he’d asked my brother to be a model for one of his bronze sculptures some ten years ago.

But … what about the story? How often does one receive one’s brother in the mail like that? It just screams short story, but what genre? Horror, comedy, I think I’ll skip tragedy, but a story there will have to be.

Where shall we put Uncle Ron, I asked my offspring? Up on the one bookshelf that survived my recent move? Can we deal with Uncle Ron looking over us, down on us? No, he’d never do that. 
A wingless guardian angel of sorts, urging me to write … yes, that will work fine.

Now to fill my pen with ink and find the box with paper! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lots of Inspiration

Wyoming on the Continental Divide at 7000 feet
Over a three day drive I got to see quite a bit of the Cascades in Washington, the rolling hills and passes in eastern Oregon, western Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, before finally dropping down into Colorado. I found much inspiration for the sequel to Out in the Dark

The drive gave me good insight into what Jake, our protagonist, will be going through in the second book as he tries desperately to stay ahead of the evil rogue group dispensing vigilante justice. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what he went through in the first book. You’d think me as the author would already know that but as many writers will tell you, we are merely the person putting the story on paper, and we are led by our characters. 

So much so that I’ve given up making detailed outlines of my books because my characters, in the course of writing, will throw me curve balls and toss in new details I wouldn’t have thought of. 

My 18-yr old navigator and I took it all in. From Deadman’s Pass to the high, windy plains to the winding passes and the extreme altitude. Well, certainly extreme for me anyway, I grew up almost below sea level so 7000 feet up is quite a lot. There is nothing like seeing it for yourself to truly appreciate the beauty and diverse landscape and people of this country. 

We speculated on what Jake, our 18-yr old character in Out in the Dark, might think or be experiencing as he criss-crossed these highways and stopped for fuel and coffee in tiny towns that seem to exist only to serve travelers and long-haul truckers. Or when he splurges and finds some of the best Chinese food at a tiny place in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Or how he would deal with a complete lack of cell coverage for long stretches. 

We also worked out what methods Jake might employ to block some the ESP images he’s starting to get in the sequel. 

As for a suitable audio playlist …. well, the stressed out cat in the car rather dictated that one as the only thing that kept him quiet and put him to sleep was the Best of ZZ Top. I suppose I’ll have to add that into the book too as the music is indelibly linked to the landscape in my memory. As are Subway sandwiches at Chevron gas stations along the way. 

Just as soon as the moving company brings my chair and desk I’ll again devote many hours a day to writing the sequel … don’t want you to have to wait too long for it. 

In the meantime, drop me a line on how you like Out in the Dark under pen name Nicola Adams, leave a review online at your preferred Ebook retailer, or peruse my website to see what other writing I do