The Golden Time

It's out there. (Monte Dutton photo)
It’s out there. (Monte Dutton photo)

I’m holed up again, writing.

The weekend was exciting — a memorable high school game, Bristol night race, up late both nights writing about them, and then restless afterward — but I’m back in the routine of work on a short story, write a blog, pay some bills …

… And, on selected days, I may shop for groceries, or visit the ATM, or, once in a great while, get a haircut!

Much to my disbelief, it is actually about time to mow the lawn again.

I expect to have the Red Sox game on while I read a book tonight, with the attention devoted each varying with the quality, or lack thereof, of said game.

Solitude is a necessary part of being a writer. I have to keep writing. It’s all I know to do. I’ve failed at other things but not writing. My problems can only be solved by writing.

Write it and it will come.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

At the moment, I’m occupying myself with little pictures, waiting placidly for that moment when it grows to CinemaScope! Or high-def. IMAX. Whatever.

I’m thinking of a topic for this blog. (Well, no. I thought of this as it went along.) I’m chipping away at several different short stories at the same. I’m pondering what to do with my completed fourth novel and when to do so.

The fifth one is nestled away — somewhat safely, I hope — in, oh, about middle school. It’s a project I abandoned because didn’t know where to take it next. I had a plan, but at about 30,000 words, I deemed it implausible, and, now, there sits an unruly child sneering at my authority.

I’m going to go back in time and try to nurture the youngster better, and, then maybe, just maybe, he’ll know where to go.

Most of the previous four paragraphs were metaphorical.

I get out just enough to suffice. When I’m out and about, the time is golden. I’m quite the genial person. Chatting about old times under the football grandstand. Exchanging pleasantries in the grocery aisles. Talking about books (likely because I’m reading one and she wants a tip) to a waiter. (Waitress is so, like, seventies.)

This chattiness may enhance any reputation I have for eccentricity.

I need the observations. I like hanging out at L&L Office Supply every now and then, trying to feel the pulse of the community. (Joe Brouillette thought I just dropped by to get a printer cartridge.)

I got a song one time out of watching a woman standing at the bar, talking with her besotted beau, while I was having hot wings and a Diet Coke ten yards away. The frat boy was besotted early. It was getting dark. I don’t remember whether or not the time had changed.

This blog has already arrived at two perfectly good stopping places, and, yet, I keep going. Eventually, this will end unsatisfactorily, like that fifth novel about which I was expounding somewhere above.

Such as now. (Just kidding.)

It only takes a spark to get a fire going. (Words from a song I once sang with a choir many times.)

Lake Berryessa, California (Monte Dutton)
Lake Berryessa, California (Monte Dutton)

The woman at the bar blossomed not just into a song but also a short story.

Riley Mansfield, the hero of my first novel (The Audacity of Dope), began with a musician I interviewed and observed while working on my book True to the Roots: Americana Music Revealed. That guy was mostly a model for looks and mannerisms. What Riley became was a combination of “what if he was I and I was he?”

Crazy of Natural Causes? It’s more complicated. What if I was a football coach, and there was something wrong with my brain, and I got in a big car wreck and … going much further might give you less reason to read it.

The Intangibles grew out of the memories of my boyhood. I do not plan to write anything that personal again. I enjoyed it, and I’ll probably never write anything else that requires as much bloodletting, because I needed to do it and now it’s done.

The Intangibles reached back to 1968. The next one reaches back to 1946. It’s about a couple Texans returning home from World War II. It will almost certainly be called Cowboys Come Home.

If it is ever called at all.

I’ve got to resolve the problem, remembering the words of an old song: Gimme a beer or two and I’ll be fine / At least it worked every other time …


Examine the books mentioned above, and many others common only in my writing at least part of them, here:



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