I'm going to take a bumpy road to get you where I want to take you, but some things just have to be done. A while back I wrote a poem about my favorite singer and how his music made me feel. It was called Chris Isaak Dreams. A short time after that I started to write a short story called Living Off Chris Isaak Dreams. It was about a guy who lived his life off of CI's music and the pictures on his CD's. I wanted something more so I added a little of an actor who seemed to have the same feel. The title then became, Living Off Chris Isaak Dreams and Ethan Hawke Fantasy. Long title for a little novella.
The point - in LOCID&EHF the main character, Zeke, owned a cafe called, The Alcrest Cafe. The title for that came from the name of my aunt's house in southern England. I told you it was a bumpy road. The Alcrest was an artisans cafe. It was a small place where painters, musicians, and writers could hang out and have their work featured for free while sucking back cups of coffee. A few bumps down the road I was in my second year of culinary and had to design my own restaurant from the ground up. Ta da, already had the idea.
The Alcrest: an artisans cafe, is still not a reality and I am not sure if it will ever be one, but it is a nice thought. Wood tables of all different shapes and sizes, a section with couche
s separated from the main room by a wall of hanging window frames connected by hooks, cups and mugs that don't match because they were bought at yard sales, a small fire place, a small stage for singer/songwriter Saturdays, local artists work on the walls, poems and quotes everywhere, and homestyle food plated in an upscale way. It smells of wood and coffee. Did I mention Writer's Circle Wednesday where all writers meet to discuss writing, read their work, have their work read, and free promotion?
Bump up the road about six months later and I got asked to submit a short story for a tiny magazine some poet friends were putting out. LOCID&EHF was too long. Hell, the title was too long. The magazine was called The Core and was just this little thing printed on paper at someones work after the boss was gone for the day. To me the core of any story is the character. You follow them through everything. So, I wrote a short story about every character I ever wrote, and could remember, meeting up at The Alcrest to play poker. The outer tables had people you couldn't really see because they were unfinished from stories that never found an ending. At the main table were those characters with fully fleshed out stories. And in the shadowy corner was this guy with a black covered notebook and Bic pen. (you ever try writing yourself into a story? weird)
What is the point of this bumpy road? Well, to be honest this blog was aobut how life imitates art. It was supposed to be the idea of The Alcrest in a story put me on the honor roll in college. I was thirty-two so it was a big deal. However, just as the idea went from a poem to a short story to a novella to a project to a completely different short story and the name of my aunts house went to a fictional restaurant in a story to one in a project to my own catering biz - ideas change. What you start out thinking is not always what you end up with. When starting a story I try never to think about the ending. If I know the ending at the beginning there isn't much of a reason for me to write. I may know what roads I am going to try to take and what vehicle I'll be in, but I really don't want to know where I am going until I arrive. The journey for a writer and a reader is the fun part.
Whew, theres a fun use of metaphore.