I have always enjoyed writing and reading, except of course when it was something I was not drawn to. I’ve done short stories, flash fiction and have in the past, endeavored to write novels. I am not one you would call overzealous or ambitious in the field but I consider myself fair, as amateurs go. Years ago, I expressed interest to a friend who was a member of a local writing group and have attended ever since. It’s a friendly collection of raconteurs whose story telling skills improve steadily and each contributes to the group. But, as is almost always the case with an assortment of people, the environment is not utopian. There is a mole. Perhaps more directly, there is a rat in the mix.
Someone is taking valuable intelligence from our meetings and sharing it at a sizeable compensation I’m sure, with authors outside the hallowed grounds of the coffee shop at which we congregate. I for one have had my brilliance, if you will, pilfered a number of times.
There is no disputing James Patterson’s success, but it was I who carefully developed the character of Detective Alex Cross, through painstaking drafts shared with the group. The Detective’s name was Ace Archibald in my file but that is neither here nor there. Do you think that hack, Stephen King dreamed up a homicidal clown that taunted children from the sewer? Oh, I think not. It was in fact yours truly that researched what scared children and what psychological ramifications would evolve from group hysteria. I will only say “The Hunt for Red October,” is amazingly similar to my draft of “Yellow Submarine.” Tom Clancy was a fair writer and I shall not disparage the departed.
I am at odds with my thoughts on time travel. Many might think the notion ludicrous and worthy of no consideration. I sometimes can’t help but believe that a time traveler sits among us in our writing group. I find it incredibly suspect that Mark Twain wrote “Tom Sawyer,” without any prior knowledge of my own, “Zeb Jones.” I mean they rode on a raft and everything.