Blog 2: Side musings of the author |

Blog 2: Side musings of the author

Don Rogers

(Blog 2 aims to write the book from before the idea through the final work.)

You may have noticed that I’ve started writing my book. In blog form, which might not really count. No publisher is committed to the piece. And I’m sure as hell not self-publishing with the help of an aptly named “vanity” press, for a small consideration.

Neither am I laboring in solitude, months and maybe years in the attic, pecking away at something only I have a chance to read. No one may bother, and there’s no reason I can think of that they should, but this book is available from before I even had an idea. You don’t have to read it. But you can. And that makes all the difference.

Maybe this is like C-Span in the old days, and maybe even now, when a lonely congressman speaks to no one in chambers but a camera. Someone might be watching, so he goes for it.

Me too. I can’t see why you would read, but I write as if I’ve got a bestseller on my hands. And beneath that, next layer down, I really don’t care whether you read. You see, the writing and the research are proving fascinating.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out where exactly a Pakistani teen-age girl-young woman lives. She must be way out there, seen Osama Bin Ladin. What does she look like? How does she think? She’s as remote from the me that makes up Our Hero, the protagonist, as can possibly be. Still, I presume I can nail her down. I have to.

She also has to fall completely in love with Our Hero, a middle class, pretty secular, middle-aged, married American father of a daughter just a little younger than she. This love will remain unconsumated, even with him feeling about as strongly about her, to make the ending work. I know that women do indeed fall in love with much older men in real life. Even quite sane women do this. But how does that work?

I know how in goes on my side of the gender and age divide. For one, the body might be middle-aged, memories may go back decades, experience the same. But that little seed of who we really are doesn’t seem to age at the same rate. Take me, for instance. I’m somewhere around 24, 25, 26 in oh so many ways. My mental image of myself most definitely does not reflect that old dude in the mirror each morning.

So how does a young woman see that same old dude, or someone like him, and feel anything approximating passion? Of course, I never understood that about women looking at me when I was young, never mind flabby, wrinkly, gray middle age.

What does an author do then? Well, you ask. So I ask the young women in the office. I’ll ask my wife. The conversations are very interesting, liberating even. We can speak frankly, even clinically, about love, passion and sexual tension. These things of the heart, socially appropriate and not so.

It’s like journalism, but in some ways richer. Writing a novel, my thinking has expanded. Writing stories or even columns is much different. That’s more an exercise in constriction. Writing fiction is the opposite. I can feel my mind, my imagination expanding. It feels exponential. My limit is what I can dream up. So what can I dream up, unfettered by the discipline journalism demands? The insights at the moment appear unlimited.

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