mad in pursuit notebook

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

The Adult Writer -- Why? (Part 1)

We all know about my youth writing fiasco. But why did I decide to start writing a novel again as an adult? There were two moments.

MOMENT #1 (1987 or 88)

I was sitting at home writing a Safety Manual for the Institution. Which activities are safe for children in residence to take part in? Which ones require special approval? I started writing about fishing. I couldn't stop. Ok to take kids fishing, but what if they actually caught a fish? I rambled on at length about various scenarios and what-ifs. I was TOTALLY into it, visualizing every twist and turn... catching, storing, transporting, preparing, eating...

At some point I broke out of my "flow" and said, "Self, you need to be writing stories, not procedure manuals!"

And I did think about it. One day, during chairlift rides at Bristol Mountain Ski Center, Jim and I dreamed up a fabulous fantasy about murder in the Plaza Athletic Club, where we worked out. During our vacation in the tropics some weeks later, I scribbled notes about a character named Missouri Malone, a fabulous trainer at the athletic club. Her story poured out.

But then... the notes got tucked away somewhere.

Truth be told, I was teased mercilessly about my fishing procedure at work. For years! And it took me something like five more years to get rid of those damn Safety Committee responsibilities.

The fiction writing would come sooner, but it took one more BIG MOMENT (continued>>>).

11.25.2008

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