We’ve pretty much settled into our new apartment a little farther up the Eastern seaboard. The new job assignment is good as new day job assignments go. (Hell, I’m just happy to be gainfully employed these days and thankful Hurricane Sandy wasn’t any worse for us than she was. Continuing thoughts go out to those still without power.) But the employment does nip into the publishing and writing game. Specifically, the writing. For someone like myself who could nail Jack London’s 1k a day with ease, I was lucky over the last month to even type, “Once upon a time.” Now the republic could probably stand it if I slowed down a bit. The latest Cash Laramie collections remain steady sales. So, it’s not product (cold word, but true) I’m worried about; it’s the worry about becoming razor-dull with my own chicken scratches. You understand, keeping the creative spark lit.
Enter James Bond.
Yeah, 007. Secret agent, License to Kill, and all that nifty Skyfall jazz. Always been a fan of Ian Fleming’s short stories. Not so much the full-length novels that have taken on iconic status, but the moodier, pithier pieces like “007 in New York,” “The Hildebrand Rarity,” and the Somerset Maugham homage, “Quantum of Solace.” You learn more about the famous spy and what makes him tick away from the gadgets and babes and villains with crazy names.
So what does that have to do with me and writing?
Well, I have gotten this question several times—which side of the American Civil War did Cash Laramie (my anti-hero) fight on (or champion since he was only a tyke in 1861)? So, in little bursts over the last few nights I answered that question in a flash piece called “On the Death of President Grant.” Also, I found time to whittle a scene of Cash and Miles playing chess and discussing Twain’s take on Cooper’s literary offenses. These lil’ bits and two more flowed from fingertips to keyboard with zest. Kinda sorta my characters off the clock and, well, being normal Joes.
I’m sure a few of these will turn into longer pieces and others will be discarded. I am calling them fragments because that’s what they amount to at the moment. But they have served this writer well by keeping the blade sharp and, more importantly, just being fun to create.
I have shaken and stirred the mojo. So for that, I say, thank you, Ian.