A Writer’s View

It’s true that writers spend hours and hours in front of a computer, but it’s not all typing time.

Sometimes the mind wanders, thoughts stray and eyes drift to the world outside.

This is what I look out upon, and I’m grateful to have it.

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My wife says we need more color, but I’m content with green and splashes of white.

Project Progress

Two novels are about two-thirds complete. (My experience suggests the last third takes as much time as the first two-thirds, so if my math is correct, I’m only halfway through those projects.)

I foolishly accepted a challenge from a writer friend to try writing a humorous short story. Very foolishly. This is devilishly hard, has consumed more than a month of writing time, and is still not very damned funny, which is at least ironic.

I got a notion that a mystery involving an old geezer and his grandson would make a fun story with opportunities to talk about life and death, youth and old age, tradition and change. I’m making notes.

If you can’t stop and smell the roses, at least try to enjoy the view.

 

 

Ending in a Caboose: Beware the Spider

Railroads stopped using cabooses back in the early 1980s when they developed new, less costly ways to monitor a train from engine to end.

I’ve long thought I’d like to buy an old caboose, refurbish it and use it as my writing “room,” so to speak.

Only two things prevent me:

  1. Money. I expect it would cost about $50,000.
  2. My wife. She doesn’t care how much it costs; I’m not putting a caboose in the back yard. Side yard. Front yard. Back 40. Nowhere. No, it’s not happening.

Since I can’t have a caboose in real life, I’ve put one in my latest Black Orchid Chronicle, Beware the Spider.

I won’t spoil the story, but here’s a line from the book:

 The brownish-orange Southern Pacific caboose carried its cupola toward the rear of the car.

Caboose SP 26 C-30-3

Source: Gene Deimling, Gene’s P48 Blog

As you can see from the floor plan below, there’s plenty of room (in this era of tiny houses) for four or more persons.

A slightly refurbished car would look like this on the inside. Notice the slightly rounded ceiling.

See, there’s a big table to put my laptop and pictures of the wife and kids. Wouldn’t it be cool to have that as a writing studio, someplace to have your writer friends over to critique work and talk about the state of publishing today?

Apparently not, according to a voice calling from the other room.

‘Nuff said. If you want to fantasize about a caboose, pick up Beware the Spider and enjoy the adventure.

Available from all major book-selling platforms on June 3 in both digital and print editions.

Get Beware the Spider and ride the adventure.

A Room Without Windows: Horace Mann

“A house without books is like a room without windows.”

Horace Mann

I feel a special connection with Mann since he served as the first president of my alma mater, Antioch College.

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Windows serve two functions:

  • To let in light.
  • To allow us to see out.

Antioch filled those roles for me wonderfully.