Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fort Wayne History

I was waylaid from working on the third Skunk-Guy installment by a fascinating project. I completed the script for a two act stage play based on the fantastic turtle hunt in Churubusco Indiana back in 1949. It was a story rich in local lore and humor, but more importantly it was a historic event.
As I move back to working on the Skunk-Guy books I appreciate all the more the historic elements woven into these stories. Even though the saga of Skunk-Guy takes place only thirty some years ago. A lot has happened since then. It is not the same world now that we lived in then. I even added special footnotes to the second novel explaining many of the differences from then and now.
The Fort Wayne Three Rivers Festival, which is going on right now, played a prominent part in the second book. The third book will follow suit. Fort Wayne land marks will find them selves a part of the plot such as the Wells Street truss bridge and the Historic Fort Wayne Fort that was just getting started back in the 70’s.
To the average 9 year old who reads the books the historic elements may not seem all that remarkable. But to those of us who grew up here it may rekindle some nostalgic recollections of of our home town. To anyone else in the world who has never heard of Fort Wayne, well, they may find that our neck of the woods is a pretty neat place to live.
I seriously doubt that there will be much of an influx in the populace here as a result of Skunk-Guy, but I love the place and I hope it shows.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Imagine That

I find that my infrequency of Blog posts is due as a direct result of the sporadic activity centered round my writing. Unlike a more accomplished writer I haven’t given up my day job. And the time between writing activities tends to move at a petty pace.
I have recently had the joy of visiting a group of young readers and writing hopefuls at the Imagine School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This group of third forth and fifth graders had all read the epic story of Norman Flinches encounter with the stinky space goo. They had questions regarding where I got the idea for the book, where did I come up with the name Norman and Flinch, Why had I made Wendell so smart. We discussed how hard it is to write a book. I think they were surprised that it was such a long process with a lot of rewriting involved. But it didn’t seem to dim there enthusiasm for trying their own hand at writing something.
I had been contacted by Brian Clark a forth grade teacher at the school who thought I might be able to inspire the kids to write. However, they were so enthusiastic that they inspired me. The details of the story that they made mention of included the fork used by the jewel thief, the healing process of the goo, the time Norman banged his knee on the kitchen table and spilled his cereal all over, and the fact that his cape was too long. Now I may be showing my insecurity as a writer here, but you put details in a story like that never quite sure if the readers are going to get it. Well there was no doubt these young readers didn’t miss a thing, and they were hungry to devour the second novel.
I thank Brian and Imagine Schools for this overwhelming opportunity, and I thank all the kids who showed such excitement about The Stinking Stalker. I know that there are many potential skunk scouts in that crowd.