This past October, I held a book signing event for my first novel, The West Bluff, in Orange, Texas. It was the place where I grew up(mostly). It is a town that has been slowly dying since I left it in the mid-60’s. Not because of me, heaven’s sakes, in any way. It seems to me I am watching it devolve as others who have lived there saw it evolve. It is the yo-yo of time, I suppose. However.
The event was held in the middle of town, at the old train station that has been saved from rotting away by concerned people and contributed money. It was the first train I took a ride on, in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, after I threw a paper route. 4:00 a.m. I went all of twenty miles or so to the next town and promptly returned on the Sunset Limited. Later in life, I adventured onto trains throughout Europe and traveled using an Eurail Pass(?) and not able to read departure schedules in foreign languages, which was scary in its own right. I digress.
Back to the point. I was asked by one of my book readers about my inspirations in going after writing a novel. That answer can be short or long, depending, if you are visual or tactile. “How do you write?” I can say that it may or may not be a technique that others use, but here is an answer, for the moment.
I have a small notebook that I keep bits and pieces of things in, kinda like a book for odds and ends that I don’t know where to put or what to do with them. It is kind of like a prompt that a character I may write about may have or say. They are fun to look at occasionally, with nothing other than an open mind. So, I thought I would give you some for you to look at and see what you do with it or where you use it. Some you may know.
Death is not a big deal but dying is the painful part.
When it comes to crazy, everybody stays hushed up.
Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Look back across that time.
I am as deeply rooted to my patch of ground as he is to his.
Learning about life is like living like a pencil. You can put it all down until you want to change, so you try to erase and write anew. The marks from before are still visible and you can squint and look back on what was written there before.
I saw a woman in a tussle with a bunch of balloons and a man in the meadow with his dog on a chain.
It is a matter pf perspective, a twig is a limb to a hummingbird.
So, there are a few things to ruminate about. I will give a hint, however, to you. I have just finished writing the manuscript for my next novel and I may or may not have used any or some of these quotes in the upcoming book. If you stick around, you might be able to solve this greatest of mysteries.
I hope you do.