looking down the road
I suppose I’m not different from most other writers who have accumulated a few published stories; I’ve begun to imagine them collected and published as a book. Not all of them, of course. My stories, thus far, have been a diverse lot. The comic pieces like “Moron Saturday” and “Velvet Elvis.” The “serious” pieces like “Unfinished Business,” “Night Train to Kisumu,” and “The Respite Room.” The speculative pieces like “Race to the Summit” and “Diaspora.” The retold myths like (again) “Moron Saturday” and “Pandora’s Tacklebox.”
But in recent weeks I’ve been finding a fresh notion pushing its way into the ferment and torment of my thoughts. You know I’ve been working on a story I’ve code named “Superman.” It’s a story of memory and lost relationships, and its about a son remembering his father. I think I noted in an earlier post here that I realized that many of the notes I’d made for that story didn’t fit but did show themselves to be the beginning ideas for another story. At some point I realized that this other story would deal with that same son and his son, exploring a bit of their relationship. And then two other stories ideas I’ve been fooling around with suggested themselves as belonging in that same character universe. Suddenly I realized that I had three generations of fathers and sons who had stories to tell (or more correctly, who had “lives” on which I could devise and hang stories, but let’s not split that hair).
And now I’m imagining a story collection called Fathers and Sons that would include these stories I’ve toyed with and others yet to come to mind. It’s really begun to take over my imagination, which I don’t suppose is a bad thing, but it’s crowding out other plans I had, which I suppose may be a good thing. Perhaps not coincidentally, the stories seem to be in orbit around a little cabin in the woods that the three men visit. (And cigars are suggesting themselves, but only as cigars.)
Of course one written story and ideas for three more don’t a collection make, but, wow, what a motivation, what a focus it’s been providing for me in recent weeks. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of years where this takes me.