Read between the lines
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
People ask how autobiographical is Thirdway. It started off as musings of a future me in a parallel universe as a retired scientist running a lodge on the AT. Quickly though, Mitch was not me and Becca was not my wife--especially after they changed names and I found the real story. I certainly drew on stories I've heard and experiences I've had and some people I've known. But, between the lines, there are no hidden messages, no shots at or praise of anyone I know, or caricatures of someone in real life. I did find that it helped to lock on a few people in my life to give voice to some characters and to help me understand who they are. We do this with friends or acquaintances--someone reminds us of someone else, then we realize why. Maybe it's a turn of phrase or way they laugh or what irritates them or their philosophy towards life. It's a tempting diversion for me to ask what a character named 'James' might do, then think 'What would 'John' that I work with do?' Sometimes the answer about James comes, sometimes it doesn't. Even if it does, it does not mean James is John.