Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's Going On...

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

I have, however, given Small Town Boys a rest for a little while. I am not suffering from writer's block; in fact, I have outlined the rest of the story. But as often happens with me, I have been interrupted by another character who has gently worked his way into my consciousness. His name is Paul Engstrom, and he's telling me about himself, his friends, and his grandfather, Papa Paul. At the moment the story is untitled, but I hope that I will soon finish it and then pick up with Donny and the rest of the gang at Small Town Boys.

It doesn't take a literary genius to figure out the recurring theme in my writing; the exploration of growing up and figuring out things about life and relationships, and Paul is another facet of that exploration. In some ways, Paul is a version of Donny, who is a version of Bobby, and if I really wanted to, I guess I could link them all together with the other characters that have populated by writing from the first stories I wrote forty years ago.

A lot of writers do this. Not to compare myself favorably with the likes of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, William Inge, or Eugene O'Neill, but even a cursory glance at their work reveals that they also wrote different versions of a character throughout their writing. That's not a criticism by any means; I think it is shows that there is more to a character and a person than just the one side that may be seen in the tale being told. So it is with Bobby, Donny, and now Paul. And if I gain a reputation as the guy who wrote all those coming-of-age stories, then that's fine with me. It's the characters who are telling their stories; I'm just the guy who wrote them down.

Anyway, I have set aside some serious time in the next few weeks to finish up the untitled story, and then finish the latest chapter of the adventures of Donny, Danny, Eric, and what happened to Tyler. And when I do, you'll be the first to know.