I’ve decided to work on a sequel to “White Wolf Moon”. I spent many hours writing the book then going through the publishing part of it but most of that is behind me now and I find myself at odds with what to do with my time.
Someone suggested that once I’ve put the stallion in the barn I should saddle up the mare.
I have no idea what that means.
Both activities sound naughty in a metaphoric sort of way.
I suppose it simply means when you finish one project you should jump back on and start another. That makes sense.
So I saddled up the mare and opened up my file of deleted scenes from the first book. A few of them will make the cut but most of this project will have to be new.
I began, as is my usual approach, by having two of the main characters chat…more of a little recap of “White Wolf Moon” for those that hadn’t read it. Then using my digital recorder I wandered through additional dialogue pursuing anything that came to mind. I like using day to day events (perhaps embellished) as part of a story-line and letting the characters deal with them in ways that I can’t. As an example…some “artist” has tagged my back fence. There’s not a lot I can do except paint over it but the neighbor painted over his and three days later it was tagged again. So, as part of this chat with the characters, someone has tagged Evan’s fence. Let’s see what he does about it. Through this chaos came a direction for the sequel and one pretty cool title. I spent nearly three hours rambling into the recorder then typing it out. Now, after reading it back, I’m pleased. Not only does this tie up some intentional loose ends, it explores the characters further.
Will I do an outline? I did with “White Wolf Moon” but as I let the characters write most of the story (through the aforementioned improv dialogue) I don’t usually color within the lines. The outline went out the window fairly early on in that process but I will try it again.
Even though I’ve had a number of requests for a sequel it’s still too early to know if “White Wolf Moon” will garner enough attention to warrant one. From my standpoint though, I’m back in the saddle and thoroughly enjoying revisiting these characters. After a couple of hours on the laptop I now realize how much I’ve missed having them around.
They didn’t just disappear after I closed the book… they’ve actually been pretty busy and it’s nice to find out what they’ve been up to these past few months.
There was an interesting discussion at my book-signing last Saturday. A lady mentioned to me that her daughter has been thinking about writing a book for some time and I was asked for advice. I simply said to do it. Everyone has a book in them and they should get it down on paper (or laptop) whenever the spirit moves them. I also suggested not to wait until you’re sixty-five like me. A gentleman spoke up and said that he thought it was better to write at an older age because you have more life lessons under your belt and that experience could make what you write more significant to the reader.
In “White Wolf Moon” it’s the experience of Evan Morris, the central character, that fuels the storyline. I draw on my experiences from the sixties (and up to today) to allow Evan to relate his philosophies on life. I’m not sure I could have written this is if I wasn’t sixty-five unless I’d done a lot of research and even then I don’t think I would have had the same slant on life in general. So concerning my book, that gentleman was right…but you have to keep in mind that “White Wolf Moon” relies heavily on my recounting real people and events in a fictional setting.
Fiction is imagination. As long as you have one you can create a story, poem, screenplay…whatever. If I was twenty-five now I couldn’t create something like I did to my satisfaction but I could perhaps write a sci-fi book. I’m sure that everyone has some pretty interesting characters around them and more than enough interesting situations to create a series of short stories or a full novel.
I have grandkids in the early grades in school. Their little one-page crayon stories are filled with boundless imagination and creativity and, while some of the stories don’t make sense to me, I see the value in allowing their imaginations to soar. Too soon their minds are cluttered with the realities of life and the more technical side of education.
It all begins with one sentence. Even if you’re not ready for prime-time the experience of creating your first story can only add experience to subsequent projects.
If you can think it, you can write it…at any age.
So that makes us both right and two rights can never be wrong.
The undulating universe of cosmic coincidence strikes again!!!
About three years ago I wrote a scene in “White Wolf Moon” that took place in a bookshop (At Second Glance Books in Kamloops). At the time there was an Irving Layton bio atop the poetry shelf. I described it this way:
“Evan moved back to the poetry shelves where a thick Irving Layton biography dominated a stack of thin, self-published works. He initially thought that it was sacrilege that Layton should be lumped in with those unknowns but then he thought better. Layton himself would have been the first to congratulate them for the perseverance and gumption they possessed to get even this far. Irving would have been right.
He leafed through the biography cluttered with fluorescent yellow highlighting and penned margin notes… a student perhaps. He was always curious about what other people deemed significant enough to underline or otherwise deface a book. He quickly browsed a few of the ‘important’ paragraphs. All of it had to do with the writing and not the man. As with all authors Layton was more than what he wrote and the more was usually far more interesting and insightful than the percentage of his soul bared in the work.”
Last Saturday I sold quite a few of my books at the signing. One gentleman, about my age, had me sign it for him. He was back in the store today and made some wonderful comments about the book. He told me that he’d laughed more than he has in years and that I’d done something that no other book has ever done…one scene brought him to tears. But the coolest thing about him buying my book? Three years ago he had bought the Layton book that I described. Now “White Wolf Moon” sits next to Irving Layton’s bio on his bookshelf.
Once again, one of the neat little things about having a book out there.
Within the shadows, without the light, unicorns prance while pan-pipes lay a bed of harmony. Fragile butterflies flutter between stone turrets resting only briefly amid rich ivy as they flit their way across sunlit castle walls.
Within the light, without the shadows, there is honesty and truth. It is called ‘reality’. Some say it needs no creative process to survive. Simply put…all that is experienced is all that there is.
There are no unicorns.
Between realms there lies a better world. A delicate blend of truth and dreams where fabled creatures, when called upon, may exist. A mixture of warm imagination and cold reality. Sprinkles of hope and guidance spiced with seasoned knowledge and understanding. Gently stirred. Mixing yet somehow keeping separate the shadow and the light. This delicate blend of truth and fantasy…of realists and dreamers…of life and unicorns.
Each needs what is unique to the other. Reality requires the elasticity of imagination to stretch boundaries and expand horizons. Creativity needs reality to temper dreams into possibility. Without the other, each suffer. Where once they sailed the ocean blue today they sail through darkened space. One dares to dream…one dares to try. Together they have reached the stars.
Reality lasts a lifetime.
Okay one more bit of shameless self-promo… pix from the White Wolf Moon facebook page of my first book signing today. At Second Glance Books, Kamloops, B.C.:
What an interesting day…I was standing in a checkout line waiting to pay for my daily orange juice when a woman in front of me turned around, looked at me, and said: “You’re the guy with the book!” I smiled and told her she was right.
“I saw your picture in the paper! A friend says I should read it, it’s really funny. What’s it about?”
I just happened to be carrying a bag with six books to restock the display at the bookshop where I work so I handed her a copy. She read the back then leafed through a few pages and handed it back to me.
“Would you sign it for me?” she asked.
“Will you buy it from me?” I asked.
She handed me the money, I signed the book.
I went to work and had just set out the remaining five copies when Shelley Joyce from CBC Radio arrived and conducted an interview with me about “White Wolf Moon”. I finished up about fifteen minutes later and received a message to call the local paper for another interview. A few minutes later a photographer arrived to do the article photo.
Topping off a pretty good day I sold & signed another five copies of the book.
I am totally overwhelmed by what has happened over the past week and, to be honest, I’m loving every minute of it. These are the moments that make the last couple of years of work and frustration worth it.
Two of one.
A quiet motion in the wind…sun brushed petals gently part.
Delicate as silk…soft as loving touch or smile.
So different yet identical.
This goes back to the mid-eighties when I had my own b&w studio/darkroom in Edmonton, Alberta. As a point of interest (and a bit of a spoiler) this is the image that Jenn tells Marie was the final clue that led to her uncovering Evan’s identity in “White Wolf Moon”.
To those that have started to follow me, I thank you. I’m hoping to get more familiar with your blogs after this weekend as I’m preparing for some interviews and a book-signing.