Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Progress is progress, no matter how slow...

I'm still working out the full storyline for Place of Safety...but so long as it's moving forward, I'm happy. Ish. I still fall into the self-critique of "This isn't really doing anything," and "How am I ever going to tie all these lines together to make sense?" I guess it's unavoidable. I had it hard, last night after work, so watched a couple of Charlie Chan movies on YouTube. Two of the best -- ...At the Opera and ...In Egypt. I used to have the full set but sold it years ago when I needed some money.

The one in Egypt is really dated in a lot of ways (especially in how they use the old Stepinfetchit character for racist comedy relief) but it also has some great shots of the pyramids and the Sphinx, from 1935. And the mystery's fun.

The other one is really the best. Oscar Levant wrote some of an original opera for it, and almost the entire movie is set in an opera house. What's even better is, Boris Karloff's in it, playing an escaped madman seeking revenge. In this one, everyone treats Charlie like he's a regular guy, and this time the comedy relief is a bumbling racist cop who gets put in his place...something atypical of the period.

Those helped clear my brain, a little, and I'm getting a better idea of the theme of the story -- that we make heroes of monsters, people who crush others and spread pain and suffering on those they hate. Take fathers from sons and daughters. Make widows and orphans. Steal children from their families. Slaughter is fine so long as it's done against those we dislike, but it is never acceptable when done against us.

Brendan just wants to live his life in peace, but others will not let him. They buy into the mythology of heroism, not seeing that our heroes are the other side's demons, just as their heroes are those whom we declare to be less than human.

I don't know how I'm going to weave this in without it being a sermon...but it is helping me find sense in the story. Understand why I'm letting it grow and expand and build with more and more characters. And I've noticed some aspects of that have already begun to work themselves in.

Looks like I'm writing a story that's not mine...but still telling it.

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