Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Black Box

On page 27, Will and Henry are driving through a sleeping world. Don't they inhabit a different world than anyone else's because of the errand they are on?

Last night on AMC, I watched a rerun of one of my favorite movies, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River. Eastwood's movies are fine. I thought The Unforgiven was probably the best Western I've seen since High Noon.

His work since then has been absolutely stellar, Gran Turino being only the latest. I grew up watching him on Rawhide, then when I got cable have caught up on his spaghetti westerns, which were made "waiting for the Rawhide pilot to sell. Though, his Dirty Harry movies I've liked not so much.

Anyway, in Mystic River, the story focuses on the lives of three men: Sean (played by Kevin Bacon; Jimmie, played by Sean Penn, and Dave (played by Tim Robbins). They were childhood friends from the same neighborhood whose lives were shattered when two men, one of who posed as a police officer (we're supposed to trust them right?), abducted one Dave, imprisoned him and abused him for a number of days before he escaped. Sean (Kevin Bacon) became a cop. Jimmy (Sean Penn) turned out to be a thug, and Dave married and had a son and remained a decent person but grew up confused and feeling like a man trapped in a foreign identity he can't figure out how to break from.

There's a lot to the film but one scene hit me last night. Dave (Tim Robbins) is talking to his son, who's asleep, and telling him he's living in a world different from anyone else's, and sees things they don't see, and by inference vice verse. If he could only get his mind right, he could get rid of this other boy and figure things out. This deepens our understanding of his character while it poses a question about the way we all live in the world. And it makes us more empathetic to him because of what happened to him all of those years ago. And it shows us how little power we really have in the world when in one minute, someone can whisk us away against our world.

My point is, don't we all live in our own little worlds? Weren't each of the boys abused by the act of the abuser? One became a controller, one an investigator trying to put the world right, and the other a destroyed person. We see things differently. We're each living in a black box in which other can see us, but we can't see them. Your characters should reflect this. Given all of this, how we we ever agree with anyone else on anything?

What do you think? I'd like to know. Post to this blog.

Writing is for me an entrepreneurial activity. For my entrepreneurship blog, to go www.hatman2.blogspot.com and for entrepreneurial real estate go to www.yourstopforrealestate.com/blog


Ian Kearney, the director of the Kearney Music School, an elite musical training school in Philadelphia, dies after a fall from a balcony during a recital. World-famous cellist, Henry Harrier, recently forced from the faculty, returns to investigate Ian's death when his prized former student is arrested. Henry shows through his brilliant and single-minded pursuit of the truth that, as usual, they have it all wrong. This Sherlock Holmes-type mystery leads the reader through the world of classical music and lays bare the conflicts which dominate the lives of talented adolescents when placed under the pressure of studying for a demanding, stressful, and often elusive career as a classical music performer. Henry Harrier is part John Le Carre's George Smiley, part Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes, and part Orlando Cole the beloved teacher, renowned chamber musician, and until his own retirement, the premier cellist of the Curtis Institute.

Author Profile:

Tim was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on January 30, 1946. In 1951 he moved with his family to Schenectady, New York, where he lived through high school. He attended Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, from 1964 to 1968. He graduated in 1968 with a B.A. in history and philosophy. He received his Ph. D. in history in U.S. history in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison after spending 2.5 years in the U. S. Army. Most of his army service was completed in Wuerzburg, Germany, from 1969-1971. In 1972 he returned to Madison to complete his doctoral study. His dissertation, Those Who Moved; Internal Migrants in American 1607-1840, combined the statistical analysis of genealogical and biographical data with the study of traditional literary diaries, letters, and journals.

Tim was a market and survey research consultant from 1983 to 2000 and a smoking cessation researcher from 2000 to 2003. His consulting practice focused primarily on conducting community health needs assessment. He authored hundreds of market research reports and published a number of his assessments in Community Health Needs Assessment published by McGraw Hill in 1996 and in a revised volume published in 1999. In 2000 he joined the staff of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he conducted smoking cessation research. He published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and spoke at national smoking cessation conferences.

In 2003 he moved to Philadelphia and earned his real estate license. He now practices real estate, works on publishing his novels, and studies and teaches entrepreneurship.Tim has written a dozen novel-length stories, a volume of short stories, and about a 3-foot stack of pages poetry. He is currently working on earning his 4th million in real estate sales, publishing his novels, and working on an entrepreneurish handbook as a support for his students.

Tim is a trained violist and an experienced string quartet player. He is an avid listener to classical music and regularly attends classical music concerts. He has two grown children by his first wife and a stepdaughter with his second wife. He likes to cook, read, write, entertain, develop relationships, and help other people. Formerly Tim used to travel frequently. He doesn't so much anymore. Now he regards the combination of real estate practice, writing and publishing, and the teaching and studying of entrepreneurship as enough of a trip.