Boy, when I drop off the map, sometimes I get surprised that I haven't heard from me. I last posted the fifth of March and at the time, I was still wandering around homeless in New Orleans. I took my trailer in for some needed plumbing repairs on 2/24 and it took three weeks to get it back. I finally managed to get back in my home and an environment I could work in on March 13. I pulled out of Houston on the 14th and headed east. It took a few days for me to get my head back on. I pretty much raced across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to get to Florida. I feel bad about spending so little time in Mississippi and Alabama. I'm going to go back there one day. They were beautiful states. The beach in Mississippi between Gulfport and Biloxi was nothing short of stunning.
So what kept me from writing for the past week? Writing. I finished the next story in the Pygmalion series and Old Rotorhead has it to edit. I'm sure he'll have lots of suggestions, but for those of you who need (want?) a preview, the new story is set back at our old favorite PCAD where Tony, Melody, Lissa, Kate, and Wendy have played out their adventures in "Model Student." But this story features a character that was only mentioned briefly in two of the Model Student books. Fellow by the name of Jerome. At the gala in "Triptych," agent Clarice turns to critic Bob and rushes him off to see a bronze by a new sculptor, Jerome. Later, near the end of "The Prodigal," we find that Jerome cast the crucifix for the new chapel and has a showing with Tony and Kate. So this short story is Jerome's and I think you'll enjoy the twist on the Pygmalion myth as Jerome's sculptor "comes to life" in "Lost Wax."
Driving is a great time for me to get inspired and sometimes I have to pull the truck and trailer into a roadside rest just so I can write for a while. In the past week+ I've actually had to remind myself to go outside and look at some of the scenery instead of just being heads down at the computer. I've really wanted to do a long series a little like "Model Student" that would follow a lead character and cast of close friends for several years. Something I could just keep contributing to without any thought of ever publishing as an eBook or print book. Something that would only ever be here on SOL. But thinking up characters for that kind of a story takes a while.
The good news is that once the characters start to come alive in my mind, they start taking over the story. I'm eleven chapters and some 50000 words into my new serial, "Living Next Door to Heaven." I listen to a lot of different kinds of music while I'm driving, thanks to thirty presets on XM Radio. I was listening to the 70s channel and heard Smokie singing their 1977 hit "Living Next Door to Alice." I sometimes don't hear details when I'm listening to music and what I remembered was jumbled in my head as "Living Next Door to Heaven." Here's a link to the lyrics: Living Next Door to Alice.
So I thought about old home in Indiana where there was a girl who lived next door to Brian who was terribly infatuated with her even though she was two years older. And a story was born. It doesn't follow the lyrics--at all. But I'm enjoying the story and hope you will too. As soon as "Lost Wax" is back from Old Rotorhead, I'll start sending him "Living Next Door to Heaven." I'm guessing in a few weeks I'll feel like I have enough chapters built up to start posting. I like the twice a week schedule, so I'll make sure I have 20 chapters written and ready before I start posting.
Thanks for all your support!