... Whereas what I really want to do is immerse myself in my next book. I know what it's going to be about, and I know the direction I need to be taking; I just need a few uninterrupted weeks to get the ball rolling...!
Yesterday I talked about the writing process with my author friend Bruce Gamble. We try to get together and chat every couple of years or so, and this weekend he'd cruised his 46-year-old Mustang convertible to St. Petersburg for a classic car show.
We met at the church for lunch and caught up on one-another's lives.
Bruce and his wife, Margaret, were part of our massive baby-boomer Sunday-school class at Trinity Presbyterian in Pensacola, back when we were all young and raising small children. He led one of our original small-group Bible-studies.
Bruce served as a Naval officer and flight navigator, until his active-duty career was cut short when he lost the use of his legs. But he re-directed his dream, and continued to immerse himself in the culture of flight. He has become a well respected historian, a renowned expert on the famed "Black Sheep Squadron", an award-winning author and an international expert in Pacific-theater WW2 forensic story-telling (Check out www.BruceGamble.com for more details on his books).
By "forensic story-telling" (my coining), I mean that my friend's exhaustive research and attention to factual detail, paired with his deep interest in the people involved, make for a compelling read that's emotionally satisfying as well as thorough. He never sacrifices fact for effect, nor does he gloss over the drama of real life in favor of sterile numbers or numbing statistics.
Bruce travels, makes appearances, lectures and does guest spots as "expert analyst". But when he writes, he pretty-much sequesters himself for weeks at a time.
As for me, even though I like to complain about my need for larger blocks of concentrated time, it's the day-to-day interaction with real people, with stories that are still unfolding, that give me so much of the material I work with. If I locked myself away to write the next book... I may well miss the most important story of all.
And that story is the story I'm suddenly more interested in than I was 20 minutes ago - it's the story of today, the story yet to be told.
I'd better get to work; I may well learn something....
Love and blessings - DEREK