So The Serpent Stick is venturing forth into the world of readers by dribs and drabs and Words From Stones is awaiting perusal by the only agent to receive its query and first pages on paper and I’ve been without a ‘story’ to mull over on my morning walk amongst the silent sleeping places of Country Club Manor.
The onset of the title of this post is my decision to go north in June to traverse the Pinehurst golf course during the US Open in North Carolina. I’ve walked a lot of courses, mostly at the senior players’ events, but none for the past decade or so and seldom at one of the ‘flat belly’ tournaments (so called by the Merry Mex,, Lee Trevino) And followed Jack and Gary, et cetera, but never the Tiger.
So I feel justified by making the trip, since I’ve invested many swings of all of the clubs over the years and while I play no holes lately, but several afternoons a week I enjoy hitting golf balls on the Mt Dora Old Course practice range in part for the outdoor exercise and the deep satisfaction of watching a good shot hang in the air (when it does!).
But the lately-acquired habit of having some idea for a story with some theme, or a ‘chewable’ idea underlying the people and their actions is a habit I also enjoy, so now ‘Going North’ is drawing some words to it on my Word program.
I start with listing actual trips to have a working narrative to relate as exposition of the ‘idea’. The other day I received a notice from the office lady at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) of a send-off party for Judy Murray, the once-wedded-wife of the founder of SAHC, Stan Murray, on the occasion of her retirement as the Roan Mountain maintenance crew chief. I sent a note back that I hoped to be there on the seventeenth of April in Kingsport, TN.
See, another ‘Going North’. And being, as Popeye always asserted, ‘what I am’, I begin mulling over what other significances might be hiding in the weeds about ‘going north’–for me, first, and for, second, any reader of anything I might describe.
In a novel, no less. Maybe none, maybe some–just poke it, twist, stretch, see what is wrung out.
First come, one created by my wife of over fifty years, personal so not for public espial. But I’m a Norseman by genetic standards, and have the typical Teutonic/Scandinavian ‘long’ head and what Somerset Maugham called his own ‘prognathous’ lower jaw. So going north has something of going back to where I came from (genetically).
Plus I now live in central Florida but was born and grew to eighteen in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula so ‘going north’ already has some of the literal aptness for an agonist in a novel who happens to be like me. I’ve noticed that authors tend to write of ‘heroes’ resembling themselves, so while I freely acknowledge being ‘odd’ or even ‘weird’ it doesn’t bother me a bit-in fact ,if you look up ‘weird’, you’ll see a logical link for novel writers, in that area of ‘where in the world does he get those ideas?’
YOU WONDER WHY A HERO SHOULD BE WEIRD? How about the one who steps into a phone booth, comes out wearing a cape, and can leap tall buildings at a single bound?
All told, ‘Going North’ seems worth mulling over. You read this to the end, didn’t you?! Keep your eye on this phone booth!