Flirting with Fiction
They tell me tentatively that they hear the story that brings together all of the fragments of memory and hope, curiosity and biology-watching that need a voice other and more than this scratchpad of morning pages.
I have no experience with fiction. This tends not to be a deterrent, fools rushing in, etc etc. I have learned how to learn. I know that, once my mind is made up (it isn’t yet) and the goal is clearly before me, I’ll usually make enough progress in the direction du jour to know if even more effort will produce more success, or only more frustration.
Hence, I’m a dabbler of much, and master of not so much. Even so, I like the a la carte sampling of life that is possible from the comfort of my ergonomic office chair, and fiction is currently being featured on the menu.
The few persistent visitors here and readers of my books know that I place much of my writing emphasis in exploration of relationships–the broken ones that separate us from each other and the earth, and the renewed ones that offer hope of bringing our species back into communion and health. I speak often about the legacy we leave for future generations that is marred by our inattention, inaction, indifference and ignorance.
So my novel (in theory) will be the story of planetary challenges, personal courage and hope for a future worth living. It will span some 80 years, starting in 1950, centered around the lives of two childhood friends who as adults confront dangerous boundaries in economy and environment Â in very different ways. One has entered science and settles in a small rural farming community. The other went the corporate route and holds growth and profit in reverence from his fortress home in suburbia.
When local and global dysfunction comes, and there will be several “perfect storms” of break-down, the two friends resume their once-frequent and from-the-gut correspondence, eventually living as neighbors in a resilient mountain community, defending the future against a common enemy (and it are us) and leaving in the end a legacy of hope for their great grandchildren who inherit the Anthropocene.
Or something like that. Perhaps more, from time to time. I have homework.