Rapid City, SD
Well, we got a bit of snow the past two days. We have been stuck in the house since Friday morning and it looks as if we will be unable to get out today. The real outrage is missing the play, Les Miserables. Yes, I did go last week but since my wife was unable to go I sacrificed and said I would see it again (okay, it was my idea, but still...).
I have been thinking lately of what I would like to start writing next. I've started a few projects recently and in the past. Once I finished the book I took some time off because I had no idea what to do next. I've been doing some free writing now and then but nothing has jumped out of me. I've been trying to force myself to write a short fiction story and haven't gotten very far. One of my stories is a historical fiction about an alcoholic and his wife that started a movement back in the 1840s called the Washingtonians. I learned about them when I was at college and thinking about majoring in phsycology. Since I can't spell it I figured I might want to change my major. The Washingtonians started with six guys in a bar and grew to (according to some reports) over half-a-million members. They thought, perhaps, they had found the answer to alcoholism but all but disappeared after about ten years. I thought it would make a great fiction story on what happened and its eventual demise. Really it ended up being a love story about the husband and wife and perhaps some day I will finish it.
I also wanted to write a sort of Achilles versus Hector story (their battle gave me the idea) of how both of them die and go to something like purgatory where they must learn to stop fighting and learn to forgive before they can make their way to heaven. It would be a fantasy mixed in with a redemption theme with a sprinkle of learning to love people for who they are instead of who we wished they would be. I haven't really ironed out my main characters enough yet, obviously they would be warriors with the drive of Hector on one side mixed with the ego of Achilles on the other side. A battle for their very soul that they learn doesn't involve weapons. I have started some character (if you have ideas for names I'm all ears) background writing and written some pages on what their world looks like plus the in between world but I really haven't gotten that far. I do what to complete this project and this may win out by the time next summer shows up.
Another thought was a horror book based on a story a started writing back in high school. It is about a group of teenagers that go up into the hills in Orange County only to learn that one of them is a killer. I originally wrote it in first person but wanted to change it to third person. The idea was ironed out by with the collaboration of my best friend back in high school. The real inspiration came from Stephen King. I always wanted to write horror novels like him; at least that's what I wanted to do back then. I'm a bit more sappy now (evidence: Les Mis) and learn towards telling stories about love and freedom and forgiveness - but - there still is a dark side within.
Finally, I decided to start on a book that has been swirling in my head for a couple of years now. Anyone who knows me knows my love for movies. I've always wanted to write the "Layman's guide to the Best Pictures of the Year." I want to write the average person's reviews of every movie that has won the Oscar for Best Picture. If you have seen as many movies I have you probably have seen some Academy Award winners that really weren't 'winners' at all. It would be a fun and entertaining look at these films with "did you know" sections and "look who might've been cast in this role" mixed with blunt, (hopefully) funny quips about each film. The only drawback would be that for the year of 2012 Les Miserables (I realize I'm obsessed) did not win for some reason. I figured I would just mention it in the introduction (possibly titled "The Best That For Some Unheard of Reason Did Not Win!"). Argo was great and so was Lincoln but... Okay, okay, I'll wait until the book.
So there you have it. A new project. Every writing book will say, "Just start writing the next project." And so I have.
On a personal note: it's a good thing my wife and I get along or I might've seen her as the female version of Jack Nicolson in The Shinning. Not the type of book to be reading when you're snowed in! I'm just saying...