My current work in progress, Green Bay Outsiders, is about a group of friends who recently completed their undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and are facing the real world for the first time as newly graduated adults. Things don’t end up going well for several of them and, in particular, for the protagonist Carl Daniels. He is, however, also the source of disappointment for one of his female friends due to his reluctance to return her romantic affection.
The post-college world can be a scary time. And there will be no shortage of well-meaning advice. A lot of important experiences that new graduates face never get communicated and can only be found out through personal experience. Hence my interest in writing this book. It’s been more than 20 years since I graduated college, so Green Bay Outsiders is not an autobiographical story by any means. But the topic is of great interest to me. Occasionally, I will trace my life decisions back to find out what earlier experiences brought me to where I am today.
[Read more…] about Six Things Nobody Tells You When You Graduate from College
A few weeks shy of my sixteenth birthday, I watched someone fall off a cliff. He plummeted several hundred feet to his death. The header image above shows the Hudson Highlands near Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, the town where I was raised. You’ll notice the beauty of it. Images like these help promote the Hudson Valley as a wonderful place to visit or live.
For me, though, the part of this image that I always focus on (not quite visible here thanks to the blog post title I slapped on top if it) is the sheer face of the cliffs since it was from one such face that I watched the man fall.
I might say that tragedy planted the seeds for my future as a writer. I’m sure that segue sounds crude given the gravity of what I experienced (watching someone die) and the conclusion I drew from it (that I became a writer). And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
But it is a sad fact that much of what drives great literary writing is the intensity of emotion that comes from truly horrific events.