Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Den of Thieves

This season I want to expand my den of thieves.

By their very nature and genetic makeup, all writers are thieves. We steal snatches of conversations everywhere we go.  In our minds eye, we paint a tapestry of scenarios happening all around us and store them in our memory bank or imagination vault. We grasp fleeting emotions that we have seen, felt, heard or observed. We peruse life around us with a relish and create our own life stories for people we don’t even know. We abscond with the memories of our relatives, parents, friends, lovers, associates and all kinds of fleeting friendships. Then we lock them away in our memory vault to be retrieved later on in life in some supposedly fictional world.

My den of thieves are a colorful cast of characters although they would probably not like to be called characters but rather a more mature crowd still searching for ways to find more life in life. Together we’re all still wondering ‘what is our life story’ and then examining others about theirs.

It’s different from the Paris crowd that gathered around Hemingway’s table for drinks and song. It’s different from Ginsberg’s eccentric group that gathered most San Francisco evenings for a salon laced along the ragged edges of drugs, sex and booze. Or my own Snow White and the Seven Seekers all gathered around a breakfast table in Brussels, exchanging cigarettes, small talk and grand expectations for the life ahead.

This is a more subtle crowd that does most of its exploration alone or in small hunter-gatherer packs. But it’s still a group of literary-bound wanderers seeking answers instead of redemption.

                                  Palm Springs Writers' Guild Facebook Page

Cat is one of them. No one calls him David or Mr. Cohen…just Cat. It’s kind of like those hard-core hikers of the AT (Appalachian Trail) who all have trail names instead of their real ones.  Cat has his loveable Stella. Everywhere the Cat goes his pit-bull is sure to follow.

Carol is a blogger and her husband at 92 is the reigning chocolate king of the valley and has several cookbooks to prove it.

Judy is the Hope Mother and its author.

Bob still teaching and learning. I hope he’ll be my mentor for screenwriting. I know he is a great class facilitator.

Sunny has a disposition that matches her name.

Jim has a novel about cyber-crime that seems to have hit its timing mark exquisitely.

Lynn is another woman whose focus is mid-life changes for women. Her novel seems to have hit a cord with a lot of readers.

Ed, whose third book will show readers How to Survive Your Vacation.

John…ad man from the east coast…is heading up the Desert Writers Expo again this year.

Paramount in my quest for their secrets to success will be the Palm Springs Writers Guild and the Desert Writers Expo this March. There are a ton of very talented folks in town. Not just retirees from the coast or ex-pats from the East Coast. There are also a lot of skill wordsmiths and artistic craftsmen from all over the country who have found a safe and comfortable haven in our community here. There are playwrights to stage a meeting and songwriters to share a chorus with. There are screen writers whom I need to share plot structure and dialogue with.

They’re all this wonderful diverse eclectic crowd of artists who might be seen as a bit strange anyplace else but are right at home here in the desert. Musicians, song-writers, novelists, screen writers and playwrights that I want to hang out with.

They are true artists of any and every ilk. Each and every one of them is very talented. I hope we can share ideas and steal a few if need be. You can’t copyright an idea and I’ll grab every thought, action, pause or whiff of anything that catches my fancy. Then attempt to craft those parts into a storyline of my own.

It’s stealing, sharing, and gleaning the best from the best.  There’s a lot going on in this city. I need to stay on top of it and perhaps add my own two cents once in a while.

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