I remember the very first time I tried to write something clever. I didn’t view it as especially clever at the time, but years later, I think it was. (As is the way of things, anything I thought was clever and smart at the time, in hindsight, wasn’t.)
I’m trying to remember how old I was and failing. It was well before I met my future-wife, so I was younger than fifteen. Let’s say I was around 13? 12? Let’s just say early teens.
I was already writing, mostly alternating between Star Wars and Star Trek stories and novels. Some of it was really rubbish, the early cut-yer-teeth stuff you write when you’re very young. Some of it wasn’t too terrible, had some decent moments, and lives on on the internet in weird places, where hopefully only I know where to look.
One recurring concept in my Star Wars fiction for some reason was fusing the Star wars universe with EARTH. there’s no Earth on Star Wars. I was particularly aware of that in the Star Wars novelization where Ben kenobi says “still, even a duck must learn to swim,” and Luke says “What’s a duck?”
So, ignoring the LONG TIME AGO stuff, I just assumed I could somehow blend them together, modern Earth and Star Wars. My first Star Wars story, when I was much younger (8? 9?) began with R2-D2 and C-3PO going to Earth.
This came later, though.
In the story, there was a young undercover cop who got in a gunfight, was hurt, was bandaged up and limped to a nearby bar he spent time in. There were drinks had, he talked to the barkeep, Alex, and the conversation swung weirdly. The star of the story — named Joe Kelvynski, a name I cheerfully recurred through ages of my fiction — is disoriented and puzzled by the conversation, which is occasionally about “the Rebels.” He doesn’t get that at all.
He goes home. Alex SHIFTS, steps into the back room….and wakes up, in a chair, on an Imperial Star Destroyer. Next to him is a strapped-in young man who isn’t waking up.
“Anything?” says the Imperial Commander.
“Nothing. He’s still resisting,” says the Imperial who is Alex.
The story went on from there. I no longer remember where it went, although I DO remember where it was going (some poor brain cell is going to hang onto that Page’s Commandos storyline long after I’ve forgotten the names of my children).
It was a clever idea on my part, aged 12 or so, this blending. To suggest that Earth was a fictional construct within the Star Wars used to try and break down the defenses of this captured Rebel.
I’m not saying I invented the concept. I’m just saying that playing with it like that, using it like that, was moderately clever for a kid. It was a good solution to a recurring issue I kept playing with.
I’m reminiscing about it here because I stumbled across the notebook in the bottom of a plastic tub which holds lots of early stories (and their delicate illustrations: I built complex collage covers and interior illustrations for all my stories). It’s a pretty notebook. The writing was awfully rough, but I think I can forgive 12-year-old-me that.
that’s all I’ve got. I’m working on finishing this short story about family. It has to be done BEFORE october 1st. October 1st, I shift gears drastically away from these short stories and onto two longer projects (one is possibly a novel, or is at least a novella…the other is definitely a novella) and the “Fall of the House of Usher” version I’m actually excited to write.
Love & Earl Grey