Past Stuff

I've written a variety of things over the years. This page is about some of that. I may occasionally quote a line or two from some of my current writing, but you would more likely find that on my blog.

So, here are a few things I finished quite a while ago.

Omphaloskepsis

This is a poem I wrote when I was ten or twelve, in the mid-to-late 1950's. Click on the title to read the poem.

An Ordinary Day

The title above links to a few brief excerpts (between five and ten pages each) from a screenplay I wrote in 2004, for the 2005 season of the reality show, Project Greenlight. Bomb in a locker, on a timer, high school kids constantly nearby.

The Yellow Sheet

This is a chapter from a collaborative novel, written in 2007. The final novel consisted of twenty chapters, written in thirty days, by thirteen writers. I did two of the twenty chapters. This is the first of the two.

Future Stuff

My plate is rather full right now, with two finished novels to market, and with the others that are in process right now, but I will eventually see a clear space in the mess I've created, and I'll start to work on something new.

I do have a idea for a project that I'm seriously thinking about, ideas for which have been resurfacing fairly regularly (a good sign), and I have made some notes and done some research for it, and even written part of a crappy first chapter, but not much beyond that. I'm anticipating that this idea, Merle Boudreaux, could become a future project if it doesn't get set aside for Something Else (see below).

Merle Boudreaux: Bayou Wizard

That's a working title, and no, it's not a vain attempt to cash in on Harry Potter. That would be so 2011 of me. The novel is going be a retelling of the Arthurian legend from Merlin's (Merle's) point of view, but unlike Mary Stewart's wonderful Merlin series, it will be set in modern New Orleans, Houston and Las Vegas. The book will involve voodoo and technological wizardry as opposed to traditional magic, so "houngan" might have been a more accurate title for Merle, but Bayou Houngan just doesn't sound right. The book's title will probably change a dozen times during the writing anyway.

Other projects that are actively being worked on, or are somehow in process, are:

The Lives of Franklin Roosevelt Jones

I have actually written quite a bit on this, probably over 100,000 words. I don't want to give too much away, but it's intended to be a fictional biography, from birth to death, of a man born on July 4th, 1946, who lived a fairly ordinary, and extraordinary, life and lives. Our lives can shift and change according to the decisions we make (or that are made for us). What if the story followed all of them? Details will be forthcoming at some distant date in the future.

The Hawthorn's Sting

I entered the 2013 3-Day Novel Contest. Every year, over the three days of the Labor Day Weekend, contestants try to pump out about a hundred pages (a very short novel). I needed an idea for a plot. A couple of weeks before the contest started, I read a news article about an American man, Michael Boatwright, who woke up speaking only Swedish. He had no memory of a couple of decades of his life, during which he spent some time teaching English in China (a very strange story). That was enough to get me started. I decided I would have an American man wake up in France, but not speak the language, but since I intended to have him drugged and transported to France, the logistics of that were more than I wanted to tackle in the space of a couple of weeks, so I shifted gears.

The current plot begins with some criminals who think a British man knows where a priceless artifact is buried. They drug him, take him to France from England (smuggle him in a boat), and keep him drugged with anesthetics that cause him to lose his memory of each interrogation session. He escapes, is taken to a hospital, and wakes up the next morning, but he doesn't speak French. A beautiful nurse is brought in to translate, they fall for each other, and then one of the criminals arrives, saying she is his fiancee.

The plot developed from there into something that spanned 2,000 years, involved several invasions of Britain, Joseph of Arimathea, and the Bayeux Tapestry, among other things. Realizing, as it began developing, that I would never be able to research it well enough in the few days I had left before the contest started, I did rough outlines and plunged ahead anyway, managing to write 15,000 words in the three days.

I continued working on it after the contest was over, trying to extend the plot a little more, and flesh out the characters' relationships a bit. I worked on it a bit in 2014, but my focus has been fractured lately in a number of different directions.

Something Else?

I've been tossing an idea around for years, and it has been poking at my consciousness a lot lately. It involves a murder in a small town, of a man who was so hated that no one will reveal who the murderer was. It is a small town, though. Everyone knows who did it. Or thinks they do. That's all I'll say about it for now, except that the current working title is Murder Between Friends. I started work on it in 2015, and the plot has evolved a bit, but I need to finish Aggravated before I can go back to any of these other stories.

I also have pages and pages of notes and ideas I've jotted down over the years. If any of those, or a bolt of inspiration, develops into a possible new project, I'll make note of it here, but I'm hoping nothing new will draw me away from my current projects anytime soon.