“So you are a patriot…”

I got stuck briefly while writing yesterday and took a break. (I’m working on that short story, which it seems is now evolving into a short book.) Something made me pick up Distances – it sits in paperback (with my others) on my desk within easy reach. I opened it to a random page and began re-reading.

Maybe I was subconsciously looking for new inspiration? Or perhaps I had felt an urge merely to re-read something I had written that I had not re-read in some time? Maybe I just need a therapist…

[Photo by me, 2017.]

Regardless, I don’t know exactly why my mind went to it.

My four novels to date total around 1,700 paper pages. Iโ€™m finding that, likely unsurprisingly, the more time passes that I am “forgetting” some of what I had written. Much of it was now often penned years ago, and then published…and it is now invariably becoming part of the “back catalog.” (Although I hate that expression.)

Turning a couple of pages I ended up at this scene, which is set in Long Island, New York in 1997. Like much of what I have written so far (particularly in my first three books), it is semi-autobiographical. I’d once actually had a chat like this with a friend about a happening during my toddler-hood that I had only been told about much later by my parents – I don’t remember it:

[Excerpt from Distances, on Kindle for iPad. Click to expand.]

Once upon a time in the United States, it was possible to be good friends with someone (and even to date and even maybe to marry someone!) holding a differing political perspective. How quaint, eh? Ah, the old days…

I was not really an “independent” back then. I was quite a Democrat until after 9/11/2001, when I became much more of an “independent.” So that last bit is some fictional license on my part.

Given the unsettling and ugly news of recent days, it was a bizarre feeling to re-read those passages – which I wrote sometime during early-mid 2015 – largely by accident…