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April Foolish



I'm not, by the way, so y'all can get back to the more important things in life.


I've been having a small problem with the new story. One of the characters, Jim, is in his early 70s and he's being difficult. Every time I get around to attempting to write about him, I run into a block. It wasn't until this morning that I finally figured out what's wrong with Jim.


For starters, what's right about Jim is he's a fairly famous sci-fi writer whose early work bordered on blatant pornography. Not quite as notorious as other Beat Generation authors, Jim Waters achieved enough fame to acquire the independence required to continue writing without having to resort to a sideline, such as teaching.


Shortly after arriving at Columbia in the mid-50s to attend graduate school, Jim caught the attention of Robert "Bobby" Charles, the famous Abstract Expressionist who only recently returned from an extended stay in Europe. If "love at first sight" is a cosmic possibility, it certainly applied to Jim and Bobby. They lived in the Village for a few years during which Jim's first three novels were published, he received his Master's in Literature, and Bobby purchased the property for his Art Institute in a remote corner of Washington State.


The Art Institute closed in the 80s and everyone (Bobby, Jim, and their cook/housekeeper, Euphorbia Gneiss) moved to North Park, Washington, where they opened an honors residence for art majors at North Park College. Bobby died three years prior to the time of my story.


So, what is wrong with Jim?


Nothing much, actually. Some bowel issues, he watches his fiber and worries about regularity. Although he's surrounded by a lot of people who love him, he'd kind of like to find someone to love him in that special way. What does a 70-something gay man do to find love, again? And, like a lot of writers at the end of their careers, he wonders if the spark of creativity has finally gone out.


Now that I know what's wrong with Jim the story can move forward.

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That sounds brilliant. Very original -- you rarely read about gay people over the age of 40. Scratch that, 30.

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