Thank you so much for visiting my site and first (ever!) blog post…

While considering the format and content of this blog, I tried to imagine what it was that I could possibly have to offer. The blogosphere is so chock full of useful information–expertise and advice, news and entertainment, reviews and recommendations–that I thought surely my voice would be superfluous. I mean, who needs my two cents on anything when you have the Huffington Post and Mashable!, right?

And as far as being a place to post the latest Brian Anderson rants or minutiae–forget it. Don’t get me wrong, I think Twitter and the like have a role to play beyond what most of us could have imagined (Arab Spring, anyone?), but I’ve long since made peace with the fact that no one gives a shit “what I’m doing right now” or “what I think” about stuff. And I’m okay with that. Having said that, I will undoubtedly post the occasional link to something I find interesting or that could possibly be of use to someone. I will do my best to keep these relatively rant- and minutiae-free.

So here’s what I came up with. Authors get asked all the time where they get their ideas or where their inspiration comes from. For me, (not that you asked) they’re everywhere. In fact, I had thought about titling this blog “Stories From the Ether” or “Tales From the Ether” (or something equally corny) to symbolize this “everywhere and nowhere” storehouse of ideas, but now (since that would be really, really corny) I think not.

Anyway, what I want to do is talk about the things that have sparked ideas for not only The Ascent of PJ Marshall and my current work in progress, (yes, there is one) but for other things I’ve written, including some one-off short stories, college essays, etc. I’ll probably even post some of the least embarrassing of these early works at some point.

Today I’m posting a photograph that gave me the idea for the summit climbing scene from PJ Marshall. This was taken in the summer of (’87? ’88? ’89?–details, schmeetails) during a trip I took to the Wind River Range in Wyoming with my dad and some friends. We were part of a former Boy Scout Troop / Explorer Post that had remained close and went backpacking nearly every summer for a number of years. On this trip, the group consisted of my dad, two other former leaders, myself and three of my friends. About half the group climbed Gannett Peak (that’s my dad at the top) and the rest (including myself) hung back to explore and fish the lower elevations.001-2

I’ve always loved this photo, but it wasn’t until about 2005 (when I decided to give novel writing another try) that I saw the possible storyline hidden within: a father and son climb a mountain together and then (spoiler alert!) have to get themselves to safety after a frightening accident on the way down. This was basically the inspiration for the entire novel and was the first scene I wrote–even though it doesn’t show up until the third chapter.

In my next post, I’ll talk about some of the other scenes, chapters, characters, descriptions, etc. in PJ Marshall and the sources of their inspiration. Thank you so much for reading!

(If you really do give a shit about what I’m doing or what I think, send me an email–I’ll gladly fill you in)

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