Saturday, January 31, 2015

Back to the Beginning

My current work in progress remains a work in progress, but I'm going back to the beginning of the manuscript.

As mentioned in previous posts, the storyline has drifted way off in a different direction from where it started. So my plan is to make this either a serial or two separate novels. It could even evolve into more than two. Time will tell.

The problem, if it is one, is that a subplot has developed into a major storyline. That's what happens, at least with me, when characters grow and develop. 

That being said, my other novels contain elements that could be developed into another novel. I've often been asked if I plan to do sequels to particular novels. That's always a possibility although I prefer to break ground with new stories.  

With this manuscript, I plan to go back to the beginning and start the edit and rewrite while continuing to work on the second storyline. 

Of course, I don't know how all this will end. I may have two novels or perhaps scrap one or both of the stories if I'm not satisfied with the end result(s).

You might even say it's the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning or new beginnings. Whatever, I'm looking forward to reaching the end.

Until the next time...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Time Marches On and Over Me

This past weekend my family got together for a belated holiday party. It was more like a family reunion since we don't see each other that often.

My 87-year-old father was unable to attend because he wasn't feeling well. When I called to check on him the next day, he said it wasn't anything specific, simply old age. 

I told him I could sympathize with him because I occasionally have various and sundry aches and pains. 

While looking at some photographs of the party, it occurred to me that I was the oldest person there. That's what happens when you're the oldest of seven children.

I don't mind being the oldest -- and I don't feel that old, act that old, or look that old. But I'm sure the great nephews and great nieces as well as my granddaughters, even my own siblings, might argue some if not all, of those points. 

Probably the safest bet for me in the future will be extended family reunions, where I have a few aunts as well as several cousins older than me.  

Until then, I will insist that my Dad at least make an appearance at our get-togethers to claim that age-old honor. 

Until the next time...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Story Songs: Lonely Boy

A song I thought was unusual was Andrew Gold's "Lonely Boy," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.

I've always liked the piano-driven tune because it was so different from other pop songs from that era.

Gold, a multi-talented singer-songwriter, penned what appears to be a somewhat autobiographical tune about a boy who finds out that he's no longer an only child -- and has become a lonely child.

It begins:

"He was born on a summer day, 1951,
And with a slap of a hand, he had landed as an only son
His mother and father said what a lovely boy
We'll teach him what we learned, ah yes just what we learned
We'll dress him up warmly and we'll send him to school
It'll teach him how to fight to be nobody's fool"

But two summers later, personal disaster strikes the boy as he learns that he has as sister. So his response is:

"Well he ran down the hall and he cried
Oh how could his parents have lied
When they said he was an only son
He thought he was the only one"

The boy leaves home when he's around 18, and later his sister becomes a mother. And the cycle begins:

"Well his sister grew up and she married a man
He gave her a son, ah yes a lovely son
They dressed him up warmly, they sent him to school
It taught him how to fight to be nobody's fool"

Although Gold was born in the summer of 1951 and his sister in the summer of 1953, he said the song was not autobiographical and that he enjoyed a happy childhood, according to The Independent.

Gold is probably most remembered  for "Thank You for Being a Friend," which was used as the theme song for the popular TV series, "The Golden Girls" from the 1980s.

Gold, who died in 2011 at the age of 59, should be given serious consideration induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But that's a post for another day.

"Lonely Boy" lyrics

Until the next time...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Family Member

My wife and I added a new member to our household--meet Belle. 


Belle, we believe, is a Chorkie -- a Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier mix. She visited the vet yesterday for a checkup and distemper shot. She weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces. 

She's about seven or eight weeks ago. We'll celebrate her birthdays on Dec. 1. 

As for her name, we chose it because our granddaughters -- Lily and Lola -- love the character in the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast." 

Besides loving dogs, we decided to take Belle because she's a rescue pup. A good friend was able to take 12 puppies from a person, and over a few hours, found them new homes.

Now we already have another dog -- Bailey -- also a Chorkie. And he came from the same home (we believe they might have the same dad). We've had him for two years and he's been a loving friend and companion. He's been a true stress reliever for me with his quiet and laid-back demeanor. 
Belle and Bailey

But we felt that Bailey needed a canine friend so that's another big reason we decided to take Belle into our home.

There are times when Bailey seemed lonely. When we had to leave the house for whatever reasons, he appeared to be very unhappy about it. And he was always overjoyed when we returned.

Another thing that sealed the deal was a video (see below) I watched on YouTube about what a dog does when left at home while the owner goes to work. The owner attached a GoPro cam on the dog. Needless to say, the dog was fretful and upset until he returned. We wondered if Bailey had similar experiences when he was by himself.

Bailey was a bit unsure about Belle when she came into our home, but after three days, they are playing together, lying next to each other, and getting along just splendidly. It's a delight to watch them interact.

I believe Bailey and Belle are happy playmates. I know my wife and I are glad to have them in our lives (even though we have another round of puppy training).

My wife has a cup that's inscribed "Who Rescued Who?" There's some truth in those words.

Until the next time...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Crossing the Bridge

Back in 1979, German writer Michael Ende published the fantasy novel, "The Neverending Story," which was made into a movie five years later.

My current work-in-progress could be called the same at this point. It's not the same story as Mr. Ende's wonderful novel. It's that I've written about 70,000 words with no end in sight (maybe that should be the title -- "No End in Sight"). 

While watching a television program called "Kentucky Muse" on Kentucky Educational Television a few nights ago, there was a segment that featured author and friend Sheila Williams, of Newport, Ky.

Williams, who has written three popular novels, mentioned that a difficult part in the writing process is when you get to a certain point and needing a transition to finish the manuscript. She compared it to being on the edge of a canyon and needing a bridge to cross over to the other side.

That's the point I'm finding myself right now. I feel like I'm still stuck in the middle. I need to start finding something -- a bridge -- to turn the novel toward resolution. The only way to do that is to keep on writing until that I see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver, who was raised in Kentucky, was quoted as saying that sometimes you don't find the beginning of a story until the 100th page of the manuscript. And that very well could be what has happened to me since I'm at a place miles away from where I started on Nov. 1. 

As noted in an earlier post, I can see this work becoming a two- or three-part series. I guess I'll find of these days.

There was a movie released in 2000 called "Wonder Boys," based on Michael Chabon's 1995 novel of the same name, and starring Michael Douglas. Douglas played a writer, Grady Tripp, who couldn't finish his second novel for various and sundry reasons. 

I certainly don't want that to happen to me so I'll continue writing until I reach the end--wherever that may be.

Until the next time...