Monday, August 12, 2013
Never Too Late In More Ways Than One.
Never Too Late was concieved during a writing group I attended some years back, along with Melva Michaelian and M.P. Barker. We'd been given a suggestion and were to write whatever came to mind, keeping pen in motion, until the moderator called time. I don't think I had any idea what I was going to write, and then, there it was, and I was in turn of the century England (and later, Italy) in the mind of a heroine ready to chuck it all and go after what she's always wanted.
It wasn't until the story was complete and had spent some time marinating that I noticed I'd never given my heroine a first name, and calling her "Mrs. Sinclair" in query letters and promotional materials was going to get clunky. She ended up being Amelia, and I managed to slip that information in there in a not too clunky manner. Being that this was a novella, and e-publishing then was different from e-publishing now, I wasn't sure where a shorter work should go, but lo and behold, one of Awe-Struck E-books' then-co-owners was starting a new venture, and looking for such stories. Perfect fit, but then life happened, and "Never Too Late" ultimately went to Uncial Press, along with "Queen of the Ocean."
Today, while walking in the park, thinking about writing and future projects, I spotted a man with a long silver ponytail walking the path in front of me. He wore khaki shorts and had text tattoos on the back of both calves. Though I can't have tatoos myself for medical reasons, I'm intrigued by the art form, and of course wanted to see what his said. I stepped up my pace and then stopped in my tracks.
On the backs of both legs, in all capital letters, were the words, "Never Too Late." Important words, those, important enough for a man of some experience to have them inked onto his body more than once, big and bold. Nothing to do with my story, I am beyond sure, though I did make a sound not unlike a squeal at seeing those words. Only a small one, mind, and I did remember that it's not socially acceptable to chase down strangers and quiz them about their body art. Still, it does make me wonder. What, exactly, was the story behind this gent's tattoos? What was it never too late for, for him? Why on the calves, and why, for that matter, both calves instead of only one? Was the phrase a reminder? A warning? A mantra? A prayer? A motto? And why, for that matter, did this total stranger with this phrase, repeated, cross my path on that particular walk while I was thinking those particular thoughts? Coincidence, maybe. Grand design, maybe. Either way, pretty cool, and I headed for home, my writerbrain fortified. On with the next book. BTW, if you're curious about "Never Too Late" itself, you can read the first chapter and/or grab it here: https://www.uncialpress.com/never-too-late.html