August 1, 2013
In the 1980s I took a writing class at ASU (don't tell my U of A classmates) from Ron Carlson. Learned a ton about writing, but then I would just have to because I knew next to nothing at the time. Anyway, Ron is now the director of the writing department program at the University of California at Irvine and has written his sixth novel, "Return to Oakpine," about four, old rock bandmates "trying to make peace with who they are in the world."
I'm not a fan of fiction, but I am a fan of Ron, and this tale of friendship and growing old and getting the band back together one last time hit me right where I live. I read the first four chapters with a lump in my throat. It really got to me. Of course, this story, about four kids from a small town who were once in a band, is, well, my story. And Ron does it up right, except for one small drummer detail. Ha.
Drove into the Beast today to meet my son for lunch at one of his fave spots. He and Pattarapan were flying from Baltimore to Portland and had a two-hour layover in Phoenix (planned so he could eat Mohcajete!). So Kathy picked them up at the airport and I met them at Playa Hermosa, 16th St. and Garfield.
The Mohcajete Crew at Playa Hermosa
On the way back out to Cave Creek I stopped at Barnes & Noble to buy three extra copies (for certain bandmates of mine) of Ron Carlson's new book "Return to Oakpine". I wanted to support an actual bookstore, but of course they didn't have it in stock. Sigh.
Did run into Robert Ray in the Teen Paranormal Romance Section, which takes up an entire aisle!
Crazy trend, no?
Meanwhile, I feel like I was born to tell a certain kind of story. I know the inner workings of history and how it gets distorted, and why. This leads to an interesting angle on Western stories.
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."