This weekend it will be time to indie publish my 4th short story collection, titled Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND (yes, the titles will just keep getting longer.) Here is the “Origins” section (a sort of afterword.)
Building an inventory of stories and a “collection” of readers is a very slow process. I haven’t been at writing for long, and indie-publishing even less time than that, but it’s obvious that I’m not going to get rich doing this. So why do I continue?
Money isn’t everything (people tend to say this when it’s not rolling in, don’t they?), and it certainly isn’t the only reason I write. Part of this is a challenge to myself (to create a plan and make myself stick to it), part is psychotherapeutic exploration (I often wonder what would come pouring out of me if I had some variation of Turret’s Syndrome), and part is creative release (something that has been sorely missing from my life until recently.)
Regardless of the motivation, all these things did come OUT OF MY MIND, and it might be interesting for me to recollect how.
In “Bugging Out” I was exploring a couple of disturbing observations about impermanence – the way that buildings seem to instantly appear (yes, I know they were probably being built for weeks and I just wasn’t paying attention) and also how common objects that I know I just saw simply vanish (where did I put those keys?). What if these things involved some sort of extra dimensional space or creatures? Maybe some strange, blue beetles? (Coincidentally, soon after I struggled to find a photo of a beetle that I could use for the eBook’s cover, I encountered dozens of these beetles flying in my backyard – this was the first time they had ever appeared in the twenty-plus years that we have lived in this house. I’m still waiting to see if something comes of them.)
“The Unreliability of the Mature Mind” is an ongoing concern for me as I watch my memory slip further from being reliable. I wondered – if you had an advanced brain-washing technique that involved creating false memories by building new neural connections, would it work with people whose neural pathways aren’t holding together? Could dementia be a defense against manipulation?
Mental invasion and control keeps cropping up in my work. “My Brother’s Keeper” took the medieval notion of demon possession, which some “science” now tries to explain away as probable psychological disorders – I’m not sure I buy into that. What if there is such a thing as possession, but it’s a little more commonplace – at least for a visiting alien culture?
Alien thoughts, paranoia, and infectious disease gave birth to “The Black Spot”. It’s the kind of story that makes me wonder what else I have lurking around in my mind and how it got there (just ‘cause you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t something in there, you know.)
I wrote “Flee Markets” just to play around with the unoriginal notion of a transitory shop, but it became a story about escapes. Samantha wants to escape from a humdrum summer - she’s mostly thinking in terms of escaping into fantasy literature, but encounters Phineas - a renegade shop-owner who has more to offer than she could have imagined. In the end, Phineas escapes from the authorities, and Samantha has material to help write escapes for others.
“Canabis alienus ‘alien dope’” originated from something that really happened to me (no, not the alien slug.) My family moved out of state before my junior year of high school, and two years later (after graduation) I made a trip back to what used to be home to try reconnecting with people I knew. Aside from learning that it only took two years for things to change so much that I couldn’t really “go back”, I also had an encounter with a former band mate who had taken a wrong turn, and took me on a journey through woods and corn fields to see where he had stashed his marijuana plant.
No matter what generation we are talking about, we humans never seem to learn from the past experiences of others – we are destined to make mistakes and screw up our own lives before we understand why we shouldn’t have done what we did. Live and learn is the only way that really works.
William Mangieri’s writing (including his latest ePublication: “Dempsey’s Debut”) can be found in many places, such as:
- His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
- Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
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