Cambridge, to be exact. The distinction is important, really, as it’s a place of intellectual inspiration. Love lives here, as well. So rare does one get both in a cozy pair, I find, but that’s how it is here. Cambridge is a wonderful place.
I spent some time in Dublin, as well. Literary inspiration abounds there and I felt very at home among the friendly and soulful people who call James Joyce and Guinness their chief symbols of pride. Both are worthy, I imagine, and both have brought me joy. The latter continues to do so. Once you’ve drank enough of it, Guinness moves in for what feels like forever. Its robust, yet smooth nature soothes and invigorates. A pint of Guinness is a beautiful thing. Once one accepts its superiority, nothing else will do, really.
So, as I sip my Guinness (not now, as it’s too early, although that is not an opinion widely held I reckon) I contemplate my future as a writer. I planned to write while I was here, but that rarely ever pans out. Traveling is a time to collect experiences and fresh perspectives, or sometimes reinforce those you already hold. It’s a time to watch people and look at things. Really hard. Both in front and behind the eyes. I have done. One can’t help it in places like Cambridge and Dublin, I don’t think. London is for action, however, and to admire the beautiful game with friends. But that’s another song for another time.
Each morning I check my email for a sign that the agency who requested my screenplay hasn’t forgotten me. I pore over the details of the story, seeking moments that I think may have hit home for them. I convince myself that there are many and yet, for some reason, I go over them again and again. So far, nothing’s come. But the writer’s strike and the sad news of the fires burning out of control must certainly be giving everyone plenty of real time horror to deal with. So I wait. It’s cool. Mostly. I worry about my sister, Terry, her husband, and the kids a lot.
And I remember Raymond Carver. I cite him as a major influence, and while he wrote short stories, his beats transfer so vividly to scenes. I could consider myself a “dirty realist” perhaps. I just prefer a few imaginary creatures to spice things up. But that may not always be the case. I may bang out a quick horror/comedy before settling in to pen my first novel. Or novella. A mystery/thriller, I think. I haven’t decided, but it’s clear I’m being called. From where, I’m not sure.
But, like Ray, I love to listen.