Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The writing gridlock close to clearing away

SCAPPOOSE, OregonSons of COVID, the planned fourth Jack Stafford novel got stalled on the fiction-writing railroad tracks in early 2021. In January specifically. You might remember what happened January 6.

Events of that day, followed by a move from the San Francisco Bay Area to a riverside home in rural Oregon kept that novel idling. I was in search of a way to angle the plot believably in a real-world gone mad. The way out of the woods has proven as treacherous as the evil that led to the insurrection that could have toppled democracy as we know it in the United States.

Such is the life of fiction writing when you use real-world events as the backdrop for fictional story. Not a novel technique I would advise, though in my first three novels it certainly worked well.

But in the last six months, a combination of column-writing success, helping launch a new magazine (Dynamic Aging 4 Life) and discovering the likely root cause of some crippling fatigue all added up to reviving my fiction writing projects. Plus, while the last section of Sons is in process a new project based on the life and writing of Jack London is shaping up. More on that in coming weeks.

In mid-March I will be heading to the Southern California desert with a group in a tour/workshop led by the Wanderland Writers organization. We will hit the Salton Sea, Borrego Springs, Joshua Tree and other spots in search of, well, that's the fun of it. We don't know exactly what we will find and/or what we might want to write about.

For me, it might be the final chapter of Sons of Covid might shift from Northern California to a barren desert showdown.