Slowly and methodically I begin the task of constructing the framework for the world of my newest project “The Grid”. This, what I’m presuming will be a novella, will encompass and elaborate on six short stories that I previously wrote this spring. Those six are: “FLUX”, “The Brink”, “The Horn of Freedom”, “Longing on Las Olas”, “Shadow Among Us” and finally “Twenty-Seventh Time”. Each of these stories deliberately focuses on diversity, thought provoking underlying questions, uncomfortable situations and dialogue as well as less than happy endings. Why? To make my readers think and realize that on some level, we can all relate to each other.
Before I can truly begin to construct the framework for this novella, I’ll have to erect the scaffolding. That requires some analysis of each of these short stories, their principle characters, the supporting characters and which of those would have relevant, near earth shattering encounters, should they meet. Allow me to recap the stories for both your benefit and mine.
- Follows a black man who encounters a Korean woman whom has just discovered she can’t have children.
- Location: Washington, D.C.
- Main Characters: Sydney and Sung
- Supporting Characters: Chancey & Tawanda
- Ending: Sydney and his friends manage to cheer Sung up. Sung realizes her calling; to mentor abused children.
- Follows a white female climatologist on location in the Alaskan arctic where she believe she encounters a mythical creature the Inuit natives call the Qalupalik.
- Location: Arctic Circle, Alaska
- Main Characters: Lauren and Brandon
- Supporting Characters: Kirima and the Qalupalik
- Ending: Lauren, having lost her expedition team in a storm, falls subject to what may be her own delusional encounter with the Qaluaplik, only to be rescued by Brandon. The story is told years later by Lauren’s daughter to her own granddaughter.
“The Horn of Freedom”
- Follows a Muslim police captain in Dearborn, Michigan as he thwarts the plans of a racist robber gaining him attention from a political strategist whom works to win the captain Dearborn’s next mayoral race.
- Location: Dearborn, Michigan
- Main Characters: Captain Kashir Mansur and Daneil J. Horn
- Supporting Characters: Samia Mansur, Rashida Mansur, Ryan Wooding, Sam Raimes
- Ending: After winning the mayoral race, Kashir is killed in front of his daugther, Rashida, by the racist robber he’d stopped the year before. The story is a memory of Rashida’s whom is being inaugurated as the United States President.
“Longing on Las Olas”
- Follows two American girls of French and Greek heritage as they throw caution to the wind and take a last minute vacation from Chicago to sunny Fort Lauderdale where one of them starts a relationship with a Dominican male nurse from New Brunswick, NJ.
- Location: Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Main Characters: Chloe and Dante
- Supporting Characters: Yanna and a Sixty-Something Tourist woman
- Ending: After overreacting to Dante’s need for privacy, Chloe learns Dante’s trip to Florida was to honor the loss of a young patient whom he could not save from cancer. Dante and Chloe pick up where they left off when he pays a surprise visit to Chicago.
“Shadow Among Us”
- Follows an Amish teenage girl during her Rumspringa in which she hitch-hikes across Pennsylvania to find her cousin whom has joined the “English.”
- Location: Pennsylvania
- Main Characters: Hannah and Mary
- Supporting Characters: Bernie, Francine, and Issac
- Ending: After finding her cousin, Mary, Hannah explains she is to be married and will not be leaving the Amish to join Mary. Though heart-broken, Mary drives her back to the Amish where she is shunned.
- Follows an eleven year old girl with an obsessive compulsive disorder whom is talked out of suicide by her friend whom is dying of cancer and befriends a yoga instructing mentor whom can relate to abuse she has suffered from her mother.
- Location: Alexandria, Virginia
- Main Characters: Olivia and Sung
- Supporting Characters: Ellie, Corrie, Kevin, Bernie, Sung’s Father
- Ending: After bonding with her new mentor-friend, Olivia is able to begin the long path to coping with her OCD.
In my next post, I’ll focus on the connections, potential connections and loose threads that will allow me to affix these pieces of scaffold together.