28 July 2017

One Man's Inspiration

Where does inspiration come from? Well, the short answer is—everywhere. If you observe the world around you, you are bound to find inspiration for a character or a plot or a scene.

I happened to stumble onto this article the other day. It recounts the inspiration behind ten famous horror flicks. Read it, if you have the time. It’s interesting. What really caught my attention was the last entry, number 1 on the countdown—Alien.

Alien is one of my favorite films, for a number of reasons. I could write a blog about that, but today is not the day. What I was focused on was the inspiration behind the film’s most famous scene, the chestburster scene. I could never quite understand why it is referred to as that—the chestburster scene. The alien really comes from Kane’s stomach, not his chest!

The screenwriter for Alien was Dan O’Bannon. He died in 2009 at the age of 63 (way too young). His death had a real impact on me. First, because he wrote one of my favorite films. That in itself was a reason to mourn, but then I found out what his cause of death was—complications from Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed the year before his death, and I remember having mixed feelings over the whole thing. I shared something with the screenwriter who wrote one of my favorite films, yet that something was awful and took his life.

So, of course, the chestburster scene took on a whole new meaning. I just knew it could not be a coincidence. And sure enough, it’s been confirmed over and over. The scene, and the whole concept of how the alien kills it's host, was inspired by Dan O’Bannon’s own experience with Crohn’s Disease. Inspiration? You could say so.

So, is the chestburster scene a good portrayal of the pain of Crohn’s? You bet.

If you can’t stomach (pun intended) the real chestburster scene, watch the tamer YouTube LEGO version here. It's amazing. 

27 July 2017

A Title For Book Four

A strange thing happened yesterday. Out of nowhere, the title for my fourth book just materialized. That has never happened before. Well, maybe it did for Vocation, but the plot and title for my second book kind of went hand-in-hand. They became one entity. Not so with book four. It has a title, but no real plot, yet. When these things happen, I have learned to step aside. It feels like I am being led somewhere, and I imagine I am. Most likely the title will inspire the plot. 

What's the title? 

You'll have to wait and see.  

25 July 2017

Time, We Ought to Use It Wisely

It’s funny how time can pass, but then it seems like no time has passed at all.” That is a quote taken from my second novel, Vocation. The speaker is Bridget Landry, and she is commenting on a reunion with a friend from her past.

Bridget Landry has a lot in common with her author, and I imagine this is what it will be like, if and when, we make it to heaven. It will be as if time has passed in the blink of an eye. After all, there is no time in eternity.

I had breakfast with a friend this past Saturday. She and I have a lot in common, and we haven’t seen each other in a very long time. I’m guessing it’s been close to two years. The conversation was good, the food was good, and the company was good. But, more than anything was the good feeling that came from being with someone who wanted to share her time with me. 

Time is a rare commodity these days, and soon it will pass away.

I’m reaching the age now where I begin to wonder where has all the time gone. I imagine time flies more quickly when you have more time behind you than in front of you. But then again, none of us really knows how much time we have left.

Lesson learned: time is precious, we ought to use it wisely.