Friday, July 4, 2014

Normal Delivery

I’m not sure what a person can call a normal delivery, not of a child, but of ideas and creativity, but I had a delivery of mine yesterday by a man dressed in a brown uniform, not a stork. Anna heard footsteps coming up the stairs to our front porch, glanced out a window, and jumped up to greet the delivery man. Coming into the living room, she wore an undecipherable smile.
I hadn’t heard the van or the footsteps and was unaware that someone had visited. She said, “This thing is heavy.” She had a moderately large cardboard in her grasp at arms’ length, just above her knees.
I knew in an instant what was inside the box. It contained the first printings of the book I’d written. It was strange how this book got started and evolved. The first story happened to a response to a challenge to write a detective story that had person who received some guidance from a muse. When I saw the challenge, I thought, “That’s crazy.” I had no desire or interest in creating a character to solve mysteries. I did take a flyer, because it was being passed out to all who attended the meeting. I sat down to write on my blog spot and saw the flyer for the detective story. I smiled to myself thinking, “Why not lampoon it? Why not spoof it?” That started my wheels in my warped brain to turn.
I decided on using a retired Pittsburgh police detective named Tommy-Two-Shoes, a nickname he’d acquired as a kid having to wear a mismatched pair of shoes. To amuse myself, I thought of using Charlie Brown as his muse. The story consumed me. I had it written and typed within twenty-four hours. Thoughts woke me off and on through the night. I would get up and joy the notes down as my fertile brain threw them out. When I shared the story with other writers, they liked the story, but felt that Charlie Brown wouldn’t be the best muse. His conversation with adults was limited and was not prescient enough to be a muse. So, I initially changed Charlie Brown for Adrian Monk. It opened up a lot more possibilities, but because I didn’t think I would have permission to use the name in publication, I changed the character again to a deceased uncle named Aidan Leclerc.
One story led to another and after a push (Actually quite a few pushes.) from an editor and friend, Irene, the book became a reality. A writer can never overemphasize the necessity for a good editor, and mine was great. Thanks Irene.

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