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Origins of Blue Lines manuscript…Part 2.3

                … The Definition of Insanity cont.

In my attempts to keep my blog schedule consistent, I have to move in a different direction, but also keep with the nature and idea and essence of the origins of my manuscript.  While brainstorming about this installment, I thought that 1) I had drifted off course last week, and ended up rambling; 2) tried to focus on my responsibility in the path I walked along to get to the point of writing my manuscript.  If I were writing today, a great title, or a song title rather, that best describes this work would be “Intuition,” by Feist (if you are reading on MySpace it is in my playlist).

“And it’s impossible to tell

How important something was

And what you might have missed out on

And how it might have changed it all…

…Did I miss out on you.”

These lines perfectly sum up my situation, and why I wrote.  When something does not happen, in this case a relationship, you are always left to wonder…what if?  Therefore I used that “what if,” as the crux of finally taking the few pages that I had written, and determining the story, and true structure of my work.  I looked back at what I did wrong, or what I did not do.  I did not have that opportunity to fix what was not done, thus Blue Lines.

That leads me in the new direction of this week’s blog.  It is sickening and disheartening how we as people take for granted the few fleeting moments that we have.  I cannot preach, because I do not know what tomorrow brings, and what I will do to take advantage of these moments, but I do know that when things happen to you, you reach that moment however brief of levity.  These last few weeks have shown the fragility of life, and how within moments it can all be gone.  Who would have thought to see the day that they announce that Michael Jackson died.  I can still remember that moment as I was about to step into the street and received the phone call.  The finality is that I can listen to his albums, but I never had, and never will see a live performance.  The shock was unbelievable, and the first thing I did was call or text someone else…text, funny huh?  Earlier that day we had heard about Farrah Fawcett, while at lunch with a friend where it seemed almost impossible for us to schedule time just to have lunch.  Time…I remember when I would come home from class, go home and go to sleep and wake up to voices in the other room as he and my father were having a conversation, because he had just stopped by.  Then you get older, and don’t have time.

Continuing on, Steve “Air” McNair’s passing on July the 4th.  After I had triumphantly finished my first Peachtree Road Race, and resting my weary legs, I was shocked by that news and quickly made a facebook post paying homage to the slain quarterback.  I say all of that to build up to this, after going through a day in the office that I thought was tough and tiring.  I plotted out my day, I planned how it would go forward.  I would make it home in good time, still have some sunlight as I ate dinner, and worked on this blog.  My goal is to be published.  Maybe I’d even take a shower, wash away the day, before I got started.

I think of a phrase my mother has been using recently:

“Man plans, God laughs.”

As I shut down my machine is see the facebook post from my second cousin, asking for prayers for her aunt, my first cousin.  I wonder what is going on, hoping for the best.

I made it home in great time, sun was shining and the rain did not come down until I was settled in.  would I grab a Sam Adams or an Asahi left over from Kat’s show before I got started.  “Man, I’m about to get my first blog completed EARLY.”

I get a call relating to work, and jump on my computer, while I boot up my work laptop…again, just a minor glitch on my perfectly planned evening.  As I get that up, I log into facebook to do a quick check, and I was horrified by the letters “R.I.P.”

See I planned, and I took everything else for granted.  I haven’t said, and still haven’t said the things I needed to say.  I allow myself to get agitated, or annoyed, or brush people off over the slightest things, and I hate that it takes events that are so final to make one sit back and look at what they are not doing.  I would like to think that I’m getting better, like stepping away from the world Saturday when I walked alone in Piedmont Park and just took in the foliage that has grown back since the droughts, but I also look at how I can never speak to my cousin here again.

I can’t give advice, because I’m not taking it yet, but I can plead with myself, and to others don’t let your life just be a book of what ifs (although that is a simplistic way of describing my manuscript).  Tell the people who are important to you, or that you haven’t spoken to:

“How important they are to you.”

And don’t miss out on them.

It is extremely easy to hide behind an alias, character name from manuscript, and keep yourself disassociated, but there are times when you have to shed the facade also, and it is unfortunately times like these.

The manuscript Blue Lines is a fictional period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., that takes place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998.  Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.

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