finished a VERY rough draft of my first novel, which is now known as
LOL. To my eighteen-year-old self, it felt like quite a lengthy ordeal.
(Current me scoffs.) So, rather than jump immediately into revision
after revision, I decided to cleanse my creative palate with an
entirely new project...
twenty-five years, the story had undergone several mutations. In those
early days, it was mostly a fantasy, a young person's attempt to craft
a story about a world that could be. There was no real "plot," per se.
Just a tale of three friends who decide to hit the road. But because I
was writing a sort of contemporary fantasy, I wanted to ground it in as
much detail as I possibly could. So, that first summer, I went on the
road, to see how long the drive actually takes from Long Beach to
Castle, to figure out which way they would drive to continue on to San
Francisco, to determine what the view would be, depending on which road
chose... I had taken drama in high school, and while I wasn't exactly a
"method actor," I became what I call a method writer, taking my
places I'd been to see what they would do there, and over the years,
allowing them to guide me to places I'd never been.
the years, I've
experienced several phases of writing this novel. Often, in some time
of crisis, opportunity emerged, like the Monolith in 2001: A Space
Odyssey, pushing me forward, allowing me to rest and absorb what I've
discovered, then emerging again to call me even further out. Finally, I
arrived at a point where all I could do was finish, and put this story
out into the world.
at one point I
pondered making this story contemporary, it became increasingly
important to ground this story in its original time. Something that
came out of my brainstorming in this phase was that, beyond anything
I'd written, or had plans to write, this was to be a letter to myself
at that age. To paraphrase: a writer should write the novel they look
for on the shelf but have never found. This is the book I wish I'd had,
a more informed version of the fantasy I'd set out to create at 18. I
would love to be able to send this book to my past self, to say,
"You're going to be just fine. The things you're dreaming of can become
reality. Keep going!" Of course, such a thing would create a paradox.
But, in a world with over seven billion people, perhaps there are one
or two others like me out there, and they can benefit from the comfort
and courage I wish to share.
As usual, I
Of Plato's Locker, including
music the characters listen to
over the course of the story, as well as songs that keyed me personally
into certain scenes, many of which I conceived long before I committed
them to words. In addition, since that first road trip in
1995, I began documenting certain locations with film, and eventually
digitally. Sadly, many of those early photos are unavailable at the
moment, but in the meantime, I've developed a Photo Journey, detailing
settings and inspirations. To take this journey, please click the photo
to the right.
My... What a journey it's been...
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