Blog #1, 11/6/2018 - Six Black Presidents.

     One thing that I do is try to weave ideas or words that interest me into a Novel. This is not easy because the ideas or words don’t always seem relevant to the story.
     For example, I wanted to include a discussion of the ‘Six Black Presidents’ in the Dead Horse Bay novel. There were, according to a book by Dr. Auset BaKhufo, six presidents of the United States who were of African Ancestry. (Well, maybe there are seven now as the book was written in 1993, prior to Obama.) How could I get a discussion about this into a novel that is about place and rescuing geese? It took a while for me to figure this out, but one of my characters, Tanisha, is Black and the protagonist Marty is white. This is the dialog that I used to sneak it in:
     “Are you okay taking charge of the goose rescue?” she asked.
     “Just because I’m in charge of my boat does not mean that I want to take charge of the goose rescue,” Replied Marty.
     “But…,” Tanesha muttered.
     “It’s straightforward. I’m captain of my boat and you are in charge of the goose rescue,” said Marty.
     “But, you are not emotionally involved with the geese. You will be better at it than me.”
     “This is an opportunity for you. You could be the first black eco-warrior.”
     “Like the first black President?”
     “Yes, like Obama.”
     “You do know that there were six black presidents before Obama.”
     “The ones before Obama were only a little bit black.”
     “If they were one sixteenth black, they would have been counted as black in the census.”
     “Obama got the Noble Prize,” said Marty.
     “There is no point being the first black eco-warrior. Nobody is going to get the Nobel Prize for rescuing geese,” Replied Tanesha.
     Etc

Blog #2, 12/17/2019 - Sticky Glue

     It took me 6 weeks to figure out how to use the phrase ‘sticky glue’ in my novel Rhythm ‘n’ Blues. I'd liked the phrase when a friend of mine had used it and I wanted to use it myself.
     It eventually came down to Ed, an English guy in the novel who had a liking for beer. The real Ed (my charracter Ed was based on a real guy called Ed) lived in New York City but was employed in New Jersey by a company that made dialysis equipment. The real Ed had taken some of the dialysis equipment home and was using it to brew beer.
     The conversation between the protagonist, Johnny and Ted went like this.
     Johnny asked, “What do you do in your spare time?”
     Ted replied, “I’m brewing beer.”
     Johnny asked, “Where?”
     Ted replied, “In my apartment, I took some dialysis equipment from work and I’m using it to brew beer. I put the dialysis tubing together with sticky glue. I keep the beer behind the settee because I had one bottle explode. I can let you have a bottle when it’s ready.”
     Johnny asked, “When will it be ready?”
     Ted replied, “Next month.”
     Johnny said, “I’d like a bottle but why are you using dialysis equipment to brew beer?”
     Ted said, “I was at work watching a technician test the equipment and as I watched the fluids flow through the tubes I started to think of beer.”
     Alex said to Ted, “You are mad.”
     Ted said, “I had to buy the hops and the yeast and the bottles to store the beer in and I’m looking to get some labels printed for the bottles.”
     ...