I’m supposed to be on my way to New Orleans, but I had to cancel my scheduled appearances at Bouchercon in New Orleans this week because of pending deadlines. I need to finish another novel before I attend the World Fantasy Convention in October. I also have planned signings at Rockford Public Library and Ida Public library between now and WFC. And I have a 6,000 word story due at another anthology before the end of October.
I guess there’s no rest for the wicked, is there? Heh heh.
Instead of driving south to meet and greet so many of my good friends who write mystery and suspense, I’m spending the day at home with fictitious friends from Spilled Milk and Darkness. They tell me their continuing stories and I dutifully record their utterances in words on paper. Like the newspaperman I once trained to be, I try to listen and observe without intruding myself into their lives unnecessarily. From time to time, I do ask pertinent questions. But the stories I write are their stories and not mine. I’m merely an interested bystander.
I can’t help but be reminded of the opening lines of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”:
|LET us go then, you and I,|
|When the evening is spread out against the sky|
|Like a patient etherized upon a table;|
|Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,|
|The muttering retreats||
|Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels|
|And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:|
|Streets that follow like a tedious argument|
|Of insidious intent|
|To lead you to an overwhelming question….||
|Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”|
|Let us go and make our visit.|
Telling stories is like that for me. Let us be the silent observers who visit humanity in the best of times and the worst of times. Will you come with? I promise to show you things you have never seen before. Or, if you have, to offer you a new perspective.