In a weekly chat I attend, I was asked, “What’s after R&L?”
Damned good question!
My first answer is that I’m not looking that far ahead, focused on the next 10-12 chapters left in R&L and a couple of other writing projects (deadtree and screenplays, not really SoL type stories). I’d like to say there is that solo circumnavigation I’m going to being doing for the World record, but… I’ll leave that for Cyd (she’s the main character in a very close friend’s novel called “Around Alone”)
To be honest, I have thought about it. There are three options at this point. Yeah, right. Read on and discover. It started as three options, then I got to thinking ’bout it all.
Option one is redoing and posting a story I wrote 10 years ago called “Temporary Roommates”. It’s the first story in a series called “Evan and Krista”. Evan is traveling from India to South Africa on a business trip and takes a long weekend on the island of Mauritius. He and his bride, Krista, have a very loving and very open relationship (hey, it works for them, I don’t see it for me, too damned old fashioned) that they have concealed from Evan’s employees. While decompressing from the red-eye flight from India (and recovering from India itself), he’s kicked back at the beach bar of a top-end resort. Janey walks into his life. He not only falls in lust, but starts falling in love. Meanwhile, his personal assistant and his top trouble-shooter are winging their way to the island to “prepare” for the meetings in South Africa. Lot’s of steamy sex. Not to mention lots of conflict. A touch of romance and love. And the island paradise of Mauritius as the backdrop.
Option two is a bit of a departure. It’s about a character I’ve been toying with for a while. Warning, this person is an evil, foul bastard. A true sociopath. But, he’s not into murder. He much prefers to destroy a person’s life and let them live. As I said, I’m still toying with this. The working title is, “Diary of a Perfect Being”. Here’s the opening narrative:
It’s the eyes. Watching them change from confusion to fear. From fear to terror. Terror to pain. Pain to perfection.
It is all in the eyes.
That is what I seek. Those precious few moments. Each burnt into my mind in perfect clarity to be replayed later. Savored over and over.
I have quite enough visions now to be able to rate them. After all, that is science, isn’t it? Observe and collect data. Form hypotheses, and then test those against new data. Either accepting the hypothesis as theory, or refining or rejecting it.
Measurable. Repeatable. Universally observable. The rules of science.
I like rules.
Some I make myself. At least the rules about myself.
I love the eyes.
Understand, it creeps me out to write about this guy. Yet, it’s cleansing in a very weird way. I may save this should I ever decide to do a deadtree mystery/thriller.
And, behind Door Number Three, what do we have Johnny? When I started writing R&L I had the notion 1) writing the typical 7 chapter NiS story and b) doing a series of them using the other Nakeds from this week. That’s why I had the long introduction of the whole class for the week. Well, somewhere along the way, my characters taught me about The Program. They don’t mind the nudity requirement, society is naturally evolving that way. It’s the other crap around it that they have problems with. Well, instead of rehashing this week, and definitely wasting all these wonderful characters, I will be doing other short to long stories. In particular, Margie, Ginny, Rosalee, Paul, and… well, most of ‘em. Okay, maybe all of them. They won’t be NiS stories. Some may be before The Week. Most after. Ginny’s and Paul’s stories are mostly written. I just need to throw them in the rock tumbler called editing and revisions.
Well, that’s my thinking.
Oh… Wait, the Goblet has ejected another piece of paper! What? I can’t read the writing. Damned old eyes. It seems to be in some strange scribble. Let me get out the page magnifier/book light I bought off of late night TV. Crap! That’s my handwriting. No wonder my assistants always grumbled when I gave them my written notes and asked them to type them up.
Well, here’s brief sampling of story ideas that are in all stages of development (I’m omitting those already targeted for commercial consumption):
- Liz’s South Seas Adventures – a sailing trip through the South Seas featuring a suave horndog and his lesbian best friend as crew. They don’t, but they try to do, together or individually, everyone else! The initial story (to never be published – it was a private fantasy for a good friend while she was trying to pick up my wife), starts off while provisioning the sailboat in California. Poor, poor San Diego. Not to mention what happens between there and Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
- Only One Chance – this is actually a collection of story ideas where the protagonist has one, and only one, chance to “get it right”. There is a deadtree concept that came out of this, but won’t appear on SoL. The rest are… well, interesting.
- Significant Emotional Event – a theory developed by a Rush Medical Center psychiatrist on change had at its cornerstone the concept that changes doesn’t begin until the person has experienced a S.E.E.. Again, this is a collection. One has made it into deadtree, hopefully more to follow. Others on SoL (think TheCaddy’s saga). For some, a SEE is an auto wreck, for others it is dropping a pencil on the floor. It is that one event that shifts the world for that person.
- Reunion – this harks back to the days of my youth, a time that was… Well, people tell me I had a grand time. Music was a huge part of it. A couple is sitting on a nude beach enjoying the good life they’ve earned, the hard way (being Yuppies). A phone call from a the past interrupts it. “They want to get the band back together…”
- Riding the Storm – don’t know where this one goes. I just have the characters developed and the first couple of chapters done. It could be an SoL story, a FineStories story, or a deadtree, so I’ll shut up a bit. Haven’t thought about it for a few years. Although I like it. Think Tampa Bay, sailboats, twins where one is wild and the other has small kids… And, shall I be obvious, storms. Of all kinds.
- Loosier Trust and Bank – think Hoosier and make it an L. This story was inspired by a drunken friend on evening where he saw me writing in, of all places, a bar (like that’s never happened). He told me his tale of standing on a bank building in downtown Richmond (30+ floors) and he’s so big his dick hit the sidewalk. I immediately morphed the story into a beginning that had air traffic control for the RIC airport having problems since the landing pattern that day (thanks to winds) was down the river, passing downtown. All the pilots were having problems, laughing their asses off. The local traffic/news copter is sent to investigate a nude guy on top of the building. Just waiting on an ending to materialize.
- The Writer’s Garage Sale and Auction – Sorry, can’t say more than that. I still very much like the concept behind it, it’s very unique and original. Just haven’t decided what to do with it.
- The Infamous “Spike” – where the hurriedly scribbled note, whether it be on paper, in my phone’s notepad, or an OpenOffice document, the stories that are just a line, a character, an idea… The good news is I add to this list almost every day. Now I’m faced with an information management problem!
- Time Checks – my Lady G came up with this concept. What if we could write and deposit checks for time? Want to do this? Write a check for two years of your life. Someone wants something from you, they give you three years of their life… It might be my first SciFi.
Okay. I hope this answered the question. It sure as hell helped me put all in perspective!
For me to make a commitment to writing a story I have to know the beginning, the ending, the major points in between, and have an incredible grasp of the characters. Everything else is just, well, work. Fun work, but work. It’s the kind of work that beats hell out of laying in the sand on a perfect beach. On the other hand, it’s not quite as much fun as finding the perfect trim for the mainsail to edge out that arrogant bastard in the boat next to you while you charge the line. It still beats flying 300,000 plus actual air miles a year on mindless missions for idiots.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for the feedback. Thanks for the questions. Thanks for being in my life! Gee, I’ve heard that line somewhere before. Oh, yeah, the chapter title of the next R&L chapter!