Tuesday, February 23, 2021


By Rick Blechta

First off, sorry about missing last week. (I’m sure you were all sitting around tapping your feet impatiently for Blechta’s deathless prose to appear on Type M.) I just flat out blew it. In these Days of Covid, it’s easy to lose track of time, and since Monday was a holiday here in Ontario, I thought Tuesday was Monday until nearly 8 o’clock in the evening, too late to post anything.

But I’m back and here to elucidate on the title of this week’s post.

As loyal readers of Type M are aware, I’ve been working on a novel for several years now and not much to show for it. I know who and what the main characters are and have written thousands of words about them and the general plot line, but for some reason the story just hasn’t been taking off.

I’ve worried about this a lot. The past year I’ve also been struggling with the psychological effects of Covid which is something common for many writers it seems. All of this has left me rather despondent about my writing.

Then, two nights ago at just after 3 a.m., I was lying awake and the plot line of the novel popped into my head. Maybe, just maybe I’m setting it in the wrong era, maybe my two main characters would be more comfortable in the recent past. I’m talking about the ’70s or ’80s. I know for sure that the older one would be.

He told me so almost immediately. Long story there…

It’s going to mean a huge overhaul to many of the main plot points, and the driving force behind the investigation the two undertake will definitely change from the backdating, but I feel it’s all doable. 

My big issue now is to refresh my memory about what this era was like. It will be very easy to have something like a smart phone be in someone’s hand, and never notice that they wouldn’t appear for a good 20 years since these gadgets are such a huge part of our lives now. I will be vigilant, but what the heck, hopefully one of my pre-submission readers will be on top of this stuff if I’m not. Either that or you can all joyously tell me my failings when the novel sees print. At this point, I’ll willing accept that.

The past two days have been spent staring off into the distance imagining different possibilities the backdated story line can take, and quite frankly, it’s rather exciting.

Maybe I finally have the wind at my back!


Susan D said...

Perhaps, Rick, a bit of a journey through the Toronto Star archives from the right years, just to get a feel for what was going on, what was popular, what issues people were writing columns about.... Just watch out for rabbit holes. :^0

Anna said...

Isn't it wonderful how a project can fall into place after months (or longer) of stagnation and frustration. The 3 am effect strikes again!

Sybil Johnson said...

How great that you had such a Eureka moment.