Thoughts on “Missing Time”

If you’ve been reading “Missing Time” from the beginning, or have just found it: first of all, thanks so much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

“Missing Time” has been so much fun for me to bring to you, I’ve had a blast writing it and getting to share it, and getting the responses from readers.  It’s been a real treat.

The genesis for the story is an odd one.  I get the bulk of my stories directly from my subconscious, while I’m driving or listening to music, or both.  One day scenes began popping up in my head, the first scene I saw was in a nightclub, where a girl with telepathic powers was controlling people (this became the genesis for the prologue scene with Becca).  As I pondered these scenes, an idea grew on me of a group of kids who were involved in a mysterious school bus crash.  Now, some time later, they find that they have special abilities, and not only that, but someone is hunting them down and trying to kill them as well.  At the time, I was also undergoing hypnosis sessions, so some concepts came from discussions with my hypnotist about aspects of hypnosis, such as false memory, and of course, missing time.  A story began to emerge from the mish mash of scenes playing in my head: a story of people looking for answers to what happened to them, and finding that each one had seen something different.  The questions mounted the more it went on.  It was rather exhilarating to me, in the beginning, because even I did not know the ultimate answers the bus kids were facing: What happened to them on the bus? Why did they have powers? Who was trying to kill them? What did it all mean??

I had been entering short stories on this blog, and intended it to be a place to share my original stories and fiction, so I thought: why not serialize this story on my blog?  And thus, my experiment was born.  Because I decided I didn’t want to wait until this thing was fully fleshed out and finished and polished, no!  I was going to just post it as it came to me, and let the chips fall where they may. This is not any kind of sensible, professional writing process.  Ordinarily, I’d want to go back and do several drafts and re-writes and make sure everything lined up right beginning to end, and then have it edited before I ever let it see the light of day.  Instead, I was going to put it out on the fly!  Let me tell you, I was a good 5 or 6 chapters in before I knew how this thing ended!! That’s how crazy it was.  But as I said, it was hugely fun and I would not have done it any different.

As for the characters, I knew that the powers they possessed had to do with their own psyches, that they were tied into the characters hopes, dreams, and fears.  So, with a tip of the hat to the television series LOST, I knew that I wanted my chapters to delve into their pasts, who they were, with cuts back and forth to the present, and in some cases, even the future.  I wanted each chapter to be a mini-short story, of triumph or tragedy, in which each character saw those dreams or fears realized.  It took me a while to get the swing of it; I personally think Chapter 3 (Simon) is the first one that does exactly what I wanted it to do.  I was getting the hang of it, and things were starting to flow better.  When Harold Chu slaps his hand down on the science book and tells his son, “That is how human beings evolve!” I knew I was in my element.  This is a superhero story, an action story, a mystery, a science fiction adventure, but behind that, it’s a story about kids dealing with growing up, dealing with their parents and dealing with their own emotional struggles.  Even Max the dog (who I didn’t even know about until mid way through) approaches his story through dealing with the things he was trained as a pup.  That was my mission statement.  All the characters have had different things drilled into their heads, and all of them react in very different ways, from the fearful Kevin to the sardonic Becca to the escapist Brandon to the outright hostile Mia.

I tried to do a bit better than LOST and give the answers to as many questions as I could think of about what had happened and why things were happening.  The main plot of “Missing Time” is resolved by the epilogue, i.e. what happened on the bus, and who was hunting the kids down and why.  Of course, the epilogue raises more questions about what is going to happen, but that’s fine, that just means there’s a lot more excitement to come in “Time Spent”.  I envision this as a three-volume story.  If you want a hint about what to expect from Vol. 2, just think of the three school bus 313s that were found on Highway 10.  Just as an alternate version of Kevin emerged from the aperture, it seems two alternate versions of the bus itself came out as well.  And in those alternate worlds, might not other students from the school have boarded that fateful school bus, students we’ve met along the way, like the ‘charming’ football player Brock Kenney?

I am currently editing and polishing “Missing Time” for publication as an eBook.  I will be paying particular attention to the early chapters, and may expand it a bit if I feel it needs it and the new material fits.  I will post when it’s available.  As for this space, “Time Spent” is coming, as well as “Keeper of Days”, which is still in planning stages.

If you have not read “Missing Time” and want to read it, go to the “Super Handy Links Page” on the blog and you will find links to every chapter, starting with the prologue.  Also, my book of short stories “The Rubberband Man and Other Stories” is now available as an eBook for just 99 cents, and you can find links to purchase that as well!

Again, thanks so much for stopping by and reading!  I appreciate all the comments and likes, and just the chance to share these stories with you.  Take care.

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