June newsletter: Writing, then and now
"JoJo, fiercest of the wolves, was guarding her four baby cubs against a bobcat..."
Thus began the story, many moons ago, titled Lone Wolf. One of the first stories I wrote, with multiple drafts taking place between, oh, let's say, the third and tenth grades. By the end, in my proudest cursive, it was simply transcribing the story into a composition book once belonging to my grandfather, where all my "major stories" were going to live.
In addition to Lone Wolf, three other stories are listed in the table of contents. A story called Defender. An early version of The Blue Gem (where only certain elements remain to the book published in 2018). And a story titled Space Federation, which I never finished but do have notes for buried deep in a weathered box.
Lone Wolf was the first story I really remember caring for and jump starting that writing passion. Previously mentioned forays into poetry and the origins of The Dragon Princess aside, this story of JoJo and the last of the wolves (everywhere in the world, apparently) was a harrowing, lonely story that ends in, well, sadness.
The story centers on this wolf family and a decreasing wolf population, thanks to hunters and poachers. The mother and her four cubs face obstacles against hunters, harsh winters, nature, and old age. Early in the story, they also take in an abandoned coyote, who becomes an official member of the family and best friends with the youngest wolf, Pike.
The family grows and learns (and has a "teasing day", where the three male siblings tease the female sibling, who I called Fifi and described as the "mean one"). Losses are suffered over time and, by the end, Pike is left alone. Hence, the lone wolf.
This is a story that I think about a lot, especially in the solitude that comes with writing. There are definite moments of loneliness as a writer but, in some ways, I've built it this way by design. It best suits me in my writing, especially when really digging in, because I am living with the characters in my stories.
Process is important for writing, or creating art in general. Dating back to my time writing Lone Wolf, I would write late at night. It's when I felt I was most productive. That has changed somewhat in recent years. Once, I wrote usually beginning at 9 p.m. or later. These days, it does creep earlier and earlier but I was never one to get up at dawn and tackle some pages. No matter what, I do try to get down a few words every day, whether it be 50 or 2000.
These a few insights to my process. There's a lot in the world on how to tackle this craft but in the end, whether you are a lone wolf or a collaborator, write every day or only when the mood strikes, I hope the writers and artists out there find what works best for you.
Focus again pulled to my newest novel Through the End of Time. I am going with the flow on this story, for the first time in years, and really just seeing where it takes me with no end goal in my mind. Hopes are that when finished it will be in a good enough spot to send out to publishers and try the traditional route, rather than self-publishing. We shall see.
Been kicking around an idea for a screenplay, too. In June, hopes are both this and my new play will get some love.
Wrote a little about the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics in May as well. Light, in both regards. Eliminated in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and no repeat of the Memorial Day Massacre, the Celtics had me sitting around like Jeremy Strong.
An interesting month of watching movies occurred in May. A month in which the films I loved the most were classics. Some I'd seen, some I'd hadn't. I did catch up on some new(ish) films, each of which had interesting moments (and strong performances) but overall weren't great. And one film I watched to honor the Star Wars universe on May 4. (Asterisks mark films I overall enjoyed).
Murder Mystery 2
All the President's Men*
The Ewok Adventure
The Great Escape*
Don't Worry Darling
On the Television side of things, I finished High Score, a docuseries on Netflix which I quite enjoyed. June will likely involve me diving into some new shows since Succession (which I loved. Writing, acting, directing. Everything) and Barry both wrapped up on May 28.
All that movie watching in May led to a lack of reading. Just when I was getting on track for my yearly Goodreads challenge, I fell behind again. It's my lot in life.
I did finish a couple of wonderful books from independent/self-published authors. GiGi Huntley's Steel Garden is a fantastic collection of short stories and poems.
Descend is the second book in the Children of Lilith series by L.M. Gose. This series blends together a nice mix of fantasy, paranormal, and historical fiction. I need to add the next book in the series to my "to-be-read" pile.
- June is Pride Month and this article from the Smithsonian talks about the Stonewall uprising and the history of Pride.
- Playwright, screenwriter, and all-around fun follow on social media, Jeremy O. Harris recently held a playwrighting retreat/residency in Italy. Here, residents reflect on that Tuscan adventure.
- And, in case you were wondering, Bo Jackson had an interesting cure for a REALLY long case of the hiccups.
Thanks for stopping by. And, for those in the Treasure Valley, do forget to check out the Calendar section of my website, which offers a selection of upcoming events in the area.
Be bold. Be kind.