Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Old Documents Come To Light

I was going through some old computer discs and I found a trove of files pertaining to my various novels.  These were all in Wordperfect format, however. I do not know if Wordperfect is still around. But, I found a website that allows me to take these old files and convert them into Word files. I have started doing that. 

These were the files that I used while writing my books. For each novel, I always had an outline, a timeline, and a series of character sketches. I generally also had a file for notes. Here is where I reminded myself of things that were developing in the narrative.

It was quite interesting to see these old files.  The character sketches, for example, have details about Hofmann and Garvin and Grimes and everyone else that is not in the novels. It was also interesting to see how I had approached each book at the beginning.  Some of them turned out much differently than I thought they would.

I also scanned into my computer a lot of old papers. Some of these are among the earliest things I had ever written. I did not remember some of these stories.  I found a paper copy of a novel called Trizity. This was my first attempt at a novel. I do not know if I ever finished it or not. 

There was a story called Guilt and another called North. I remember writing North. That was inspired by real events. A young couple somewhere in the Midwest went on a violent, murderous crime spree. I cannot recall how it turned out. But I do know that there was some thought that they were in Detroit. I recall driving home with my father one afternoon. The police radio was chirping with reports of sightings of these two all over the City. I wish I could remember more about them and how it turned out. I think they died in a shoot out with police in Indiana or Kentucky.

I am going to see if I can link to a Google docs page and make these documents viewable for anyone who is interested.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Life Imitates Art

This story put me in mind of Heroes.  The similarities are striking. A wealthy young woman murdered for no apparent reason. The cops have almost nothing to go on. The public demands answers.  I could so readily imagine Hofmann and Garvin getting this case and wondering what to do with it.  One of the things I find so notable about this story is how the police describe the area where the murdered occurred. The cops said that it was a desolate, abandoned part of the city.  That is remarkable all by itself. How many American cities in the 21st Century have sections that can be called desolate? Please keep in mind, as well, that this desolate area of Detroit is literally right over the border from Grosse Pointe.  In marked contrast to Detroit, Grosse Pointe is a very wealthy area. To think that a few blocks from all that money is a place so devoid of people that the cops can call it desolate. 

This is really what I was trying to get at in all those books I wrote: the absurdity of Hofmann and Garvin wandering an endless wasteland, trying to make order out of chaos. What can better demonstrate the existential dilemma of life? "I think we're heroes," says Garvin. But does a desolate city have heroes? Is there anything heroic to be done when honor students are gunned down for no apparent reason? Is there order left in the chaos?