Some two years ago, I friend challenged me on Goodreads to write a novel about the ‘sixties. Is there something to write about from that era? You bet there is. My challenge, then was to decide how to encapsulate that era of rebellion, rock’n’roll, war and massive social change into a half dozen characters’ lives.
Before you ask, I was there, at least on the periphery. David Crosby said, “If you remember the ‘sixties, you weren’t there.” I was there, and I do remember most of it. Most of it, you say? Yeah. It was the sixties, after all. Okay??!?
My idea in writing this book was that no one, escaped the effects of the ‘sixties, even those of us who lived relatively conventional lives. And so I built this novel around some half dozen characters living rather ‘fifties-esque lifestyles, working conventional careers and jobs. And that’s the rub. Conventionality wasn’t very satisfying, and it led to changes we all seem to accept now, to one degree or another.
Once I set about writing this novel, shades of memory and history took over. I remarked to group of writers in Vermont two years ago that it was a period piece (and it is). One of the faculty there, Clint McCown, on hearing my depiction, said, “The ‘sixties a period piece. Sadly, I guess it is.”
And so this take on the sixties is partially done. As with sculpture, there are fine bits to be chipped away, added on, to make the story as real as the era that inspired it. It’s already in the hands of a beta reader.
Meanwhile, as always, I move on.
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