Did you ever wonder how books come to be written? Well I don’t know about other authors but for me (who is not really an author but just a scribbler of nonsense and inane thoughts), the idea for a future book happened right out of the blue.
My wife and I had gone to our daughter’s home to celebrate one of her son’s 17th birthday, when my grandson confronted me with the idea of collaborating on writing a book during his summer vacation. Initially skeptical though flattered and not wanting to automatically refuse, I played along with the idea by saying that we would need an agreed upon topic which would hold our interest, though it would be very difficult since how could two people so different in age and without any real writing experience possibly work together. Besides, two months is hardly enough time to create a manuscript since I wouldn’t even know how or where to begin.
Of course the boy’s enthusiasm couldn’t be squelched, so while discussing the project we hit on the idea of writing about our individual views on a variety of subjects, each from his own unique perspective. I laughed when he said I could contribute wisdom from having lived so long, since unbeknownst to him the years have done nothing other than to make me skeptical, that the only difference between us is experience. Anyone who thinks that advanced years are golden and automatically provide sagacity has never lived.
But the more we talked, the more I realized that was the whole idea, that my grandson would be writing from the idealism of youth while I’d be providing input based upon memories tainted by the cynicism of old age. The concept really sounded unique and intriguing, a team effort performed individually. We could do that, or at least make an attempt.
Now that we had the book’s premise we started coming up with topics for the different chapters. Bouncing ideas back and forth we quickly arrived at about 30 or so with which I was satisfied, but rather than whittling them down to a reasonable amount my grandson wanted to have 50, a very ambitious number to say the least. Ah, youth. Was he intent on writing another “War and Peace,” and in just eight weeks? Even if we could accomplish such a monumental undertaking, who would want to read it, though with all those words perhaps some publisher could find enough material worthy of putting into print. Why not give it at try I figured, for once created it would always be easier to condense than it would be to embellish.
And that’s how the project was initially conceived, starting out as a summer project that, if continued and actually completed, will surely become an all-consuming endeavor. Wish us luck.