I want to start this story soon, as I really like the working title and first line, as well as the narrator's voice in my mind. The line I wrote down in my planner is something like: "I know a writer who says I should write a memoir." As I tried to sleep (after writing down the general idea), I had a few more points come to mind. I don't want to say too much, though.
If I start this story, that will make at least four story ideas I've had and set aside because of a new idea within the past 9 months. I've got this bad habit of not finishing what I started, going back DECADES. Yep, I'm a sad case. hehe
In other writing news, I wrote a Father's Day poem for my dad this morning. He's a 62-year-old prostate cancer survivor with COPD, and is still a heavy smoker. We struggle with our bills (even with my paying him a hefty sum on the first of every month), and yet he spends at least $150 on cigarettes per month. I've been worrying about him since my teen years, before he was ever diagnosed. I figured, maybe a Father's Day poem would convince him to try to quit. Yesterday at the pharmacy, he mentioned to an old high school classmate of his that he needs to quit, as we can't afford that habit. Anyway... after some recent revelations, I realized that I can't hate him, even if I want to. A friend helped me realize that perhaps his perceived attitude toward me is the result of my own actions, though I've never had the guts to talk to him about it. Here's the poem:
"Some of our time together
I no longer remember,
While other times I do.
At this point in your life, it's November,
At least, that's how I think of you.
But your bad habit's destructive
As well as expensive,
And could deprive us three
Of your company.
I'd rather you quit,
Though you don't give a shit,
Or that's how it seems to be.
What you don't realize
Is that behind my disguise
You mean the world to me."
I feel there should be more, and perhaps there will be. I'll work on it between now and the weekend, I imagine; hopefully before I set out to write the new story idea.
Anyway, I'm nervous about giving him this poem as he's never read any of my writing, even though he seems to be supportive of my writing "career" (if you can call it that). He’s never asked to read any of my stuff, and I’ve never asked him to, as I know he’s not much of a reader. Nonetheless, I try to get him interested in reading.
Over the years, I’ve given him books as gifts: several Nascar and football books and some humor books and cartoon anthologies, but the only book I ever remember him getting excited about was Uncle Remus Tales, as his all-time favorite Disney movie is Song of the South and he was happy to have the stories that inspired the movie. I asked him if he read the book a while after giving it, and he said he read some of the stories. I didn’t push for a more detailed answer. I was willing to take his word for it, though I’m not sure if he was telling the truth. Oh well…
This year, early June hosted a huge mass market paperback sale at 2nd & Charles: Buy 5, Get 5 Free. I wanted to see what Bradbury books they had, as well as to look for William Diehl’s Hooligans and Michael Palmer’s Silent Treatment. I found the former, so I got it, but they didn’t have the latter. Fortunately, I did find one of Palmer’s other titles in their free bin. (In case you’re wondering, I wanted those two books because of a recent discussion about writing from a villain’s perspective in a Facebook group. I mentioned how I’d done it in The Odic Touch without revealing the villain’s identity, and that I’d drawn inspiration for how to do so from Hooligans and Silent Treatment. Diehl’s Chameleon was also pretty good at that… I got that in a hardcover during a previous visit to 2NC!)
While I was looking for a total of ten mass markets, I also looked in a few other sections, such as Star Wars books and James Ellroy. I was looking for paperback copies of the Star Wars books Death Troopers and Red Harvest in particular, but they had neither. That didn’t stop me from buying a Han Solo adventure called Shadow Games, though. hehe
I also looked for a book by James Ellroy. I need Ellroy’s The Cold Six Thousand in order to have his complete American Tabloid trilogy; I have books one and three, but don’t want to read three until I’ve reread the first two. Naturally, 2NC did not have that book.
In addition to the aforementioned two books, I also found a couple of Bradbury paperbacks (Farewell Summer and The Toynbee Convector), plus four classics (The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain, Dante’s Inferno, The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm vol 2, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World), and Dean Koontz’s short story collection Strange Highways.
To make a long story short (too late), since I was taking advantage of this huge sale, I decided to see if I could find a book for my dad as a Father’s Day gift. I lucked out. I found two Mickey Mantle memoirs; one was about one particular season, while the second was a collection of memories about all of the World Series he had played in with the Yankees (12). I got the latter, not only because I thought it would be more inclusive of his entire career, but also because it was in better shape: no writing in it, and the book’s general condition was better, too (fewer spine creases, less yellowing of pages, no remainder marks). He often talks about how big a Mantle fan he was growing up, so I figured if anything could keep his attention, it would be a memoir written by his childhood hero. We shall see if he reads it.
I’m thinking of printing out the poem (I have messy handwriting and want him to be able to, you know, READ it), folding the page, and slipping it inside the book. Of course, he may not open the book at all, so maybe I should put it in his Father’s Day card instead. Hopefully he’ll read both the book and the poem, even though I’m nervous about his reaction...
Other than the new story idea, the Father’s Day poem and book, and the new Relic cover, there’s not much new in my part of the world, so that’s a good excuse to finally shut up. =)