Summer is usually a time of travel. My work, before the pandemic, required lots of time on the road. Staying in hotels across the country and going to rodeos, concerts, and bike rallies all in the name of experiential marketing. My writing time would happen in different places whenever there was a free moment. Through all of the distraction, I always found a way to center myself and write. This summer has been the antithesis of my usual routine. Strangely, it seems harder to write when at home. I still forge ahead, but the fallen structure does put a damper on my writing to a degree.
The feeling of spending more time in a locked box of an apartment reminds of time as teenager in rehab. The Plexiglas window has been replaced with a glass one that opens to a third floor Russian style courtyard. Time is the great eraser. The punk kid I was is long gone, his memories seem like they belong to someone else. When I was writing the manuscripts for my Rebel’s Edge series, I brought the past back up to the surface through a muddy prism. I would catch myself telling stories, terrorizing my road friends, of the crazy past finding it hard to straighten out timelines in the foggy corridors of the mind. Consulting long distance with my friend from the punk years, I navigated the broken synapses and found the path of a story as true as I could remember in its narrow focus. I finished the third and final manuscript over a year ago. Since then the feelings of lost youth have begun to fade. Writing is therapeutic when it has a biographical element. I guess what I am getting at is how this prolonged lost summer has changed me.
All of this time in the 2020 bubble has altered my outlook for the future. A dystopian future is what I am currently writing about. My current project, Future-Thrill, is like no other I have written. I outlined the entire story and wrote character backgrounds as usual. The difference is that each scene takes on a life of its own, within loose set parameters, with parts I never imagined at the outset coming to life in new ways… more so than in past stories. The process is taking longer with more stops and starts, yet it is worth it for the creative aspect of what may come storywise. I have crossed many genres with my punk fiction and this is my first foray into cyberpunk sci-fi. On the creative front, this summer is not as lost as it seems.
I look forward to sharing Lane Bowden 1973, Rebel’s Edge (series), and Future-Thrill in the future, 2021 and beyond. And to the brave new world to come.