I remember doing an exercise a few years back when I was first getting into writing. I was working through this book I still have somewhere (if I was writing this at home, I could probably turn around and find it in the bookcase, but the slab leak has us out of the house right now); there were forty or so exercises, lots designed to just help you realize how easy it is to come up with things to write about from things you see everyday and don’t think about, or looking back in your own life at things that happened, or people you knew.
This one exercise had to do with being able to draw on people you know/had known when creating characters. NO – you NEVER (well, I never) copy someone you actually knew and write about them as a character in your fiction (actually, there was one story – “Canabis alienus ‘alien dope’” – where I sort of almost did that, but it was more about the experience than the person), but you can take bits and pieces of those people and use them to flesh out your characters.
I started from the earliest parts of my life that I could remember and worked through my life sequentially. I was surprised at HOW MANY people’s names I could recollect.
It’s been over ten years since I did that exercise. I wonder if I should try it again and see how the lists match up? It could give me an indication of how many more people I’ve met since then, but it could also show me how many more people have faded out of my memory between being 50 and being… the age I am now.
It could be a scary thing to catalog, but it might also be reassuring to find that my life hasn’t faded from crystal clarity to the fog of myth and legend.
Life is that way. When it’s happening to us, it all seems so clear (as long as you don’t talk about it with other observers and discover that everyone thinks something different happened than what you thought you experienced), but as the years go by the memories fade and at the same time become enhanced as we pull pieces of them out to reminisce and add more of our own interpretations to hem before we put them back in storage – 60+ year old Bill thinks he now understands what was REALLY happening in 20-year-old Bill’s life, and those thoughts become part of that always growing, always changing memory.
I suppose I could complain about the malleability of memories, but, at my age, I’m just grateful they’re still there. Just saying…
COMING SOON! Swordsmaster – William Mangieri’s first novel (FORTY YEARS IN THE MAKING!):
Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.
The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend. He had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?
As Swordsmaster is headed for its September 27th release date, it will soon be available for preorder at a reduced promotional price – stay tuned for more info shortly.
There’s a Smashwords coupon available for my collection: Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND (The next ten people who purchase the collection on Smashwords with coupon code RAE50 you will receive a 67% discount – that’s only 99-cents for SIX stories – such a deal!)
The collection includes the stories: “The Pipes”, “Good Luck!”, “Ultimate Awareness”, “Mating Rituals”, “Obsolete”, and “Endangered.” Three of these are among my personal favorites – give ‘em a chance and tell me which ones you think they are.
William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Truth in Advertising” – can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri