About how the story 'Ghost of Lake Michigan' came to be.
| I was discussing just a few nights ago with my younger brother how poorly some stories seem to come together and how others hover somewhere in the subconscious just waiting for us to tap into that ephemeris. I was complaining to him how I needed everything to be just right in order to feel the stories come upon me and how badly that was working out for me. Then I brought up how Stephen King used to complain about his drunken binges and awaking the next morning to a story he never remembered writing. I've never been able to string together an entire cohesive story in a drunken rambling, because that is what mainly comes out, drunken ramblings. Sure some ideas formulated themselves, sometimes, like 'Past the Pinion Point', but on the whole it has been fruitless.|
Well, the other night I had just finished a 6 day stretch of all day long (about 18hr a day) work days and decided to celebrate with some friends of mine about nothing in particular. After 6 shots of Irish whiskey and a beer or 2 I went home. Just at the edge of feeling a bit tossed I decided, and poorly too, to top the inebriation off with a tall can of cheap alcohol while I sat staring at a blank page in Word. I wrote for 2 hours and when the low thudding of the alcohol came knocking on my frontal lobe I went to bed. Not even knowing if I had saved what I had been writing.
After a long and well deserved night's sleep, a cup of coffee and a few aspirin to calm my thundering hangover I decided to read what crap I had spilled on the computer, if I had even saved it. And Lo and behold there it was a short story called 'Ghost of Lake Michigan'. I read through it, decided I liked most of what was there and tweaked some misspellings, and a few sentence errors and tried to make it more cohesive and wham-bam there it was. A drunken story.
Of course if you have already read the story you know its basic premise. A young boy who recounts his tale of being able to collect the voices of those who died working on the Great Lakes. I hope too you caught the underlying voice as well. The voice of the trapped great lake itself, the scared, revengeful water separated from its mother the ocean. The trapped water is mad at Man for trapping it and therefore calls people to their doom in her depths, thus giving her a voice to call more clearly with.
Is this a morality tale? Who cares. It was just a fun dark tale with a ghost that likes killing our storyteller. Is it scary or creepy, you decide. It is rather sentimental to me, because I really was that little boy. My grandfather really was a merchant seaman on the great lakes and I do remember how dark and ominous the waters of lake Michigan were when I was a small boy. But, that was along time ago. I am thankful that the alcohol tapped into that for me, but I don't plan on using that method of writing again anytime soon. We all need, especially me, all the brain cells we have.
Thank you constant reader for spending your time with me and reading this. I figured since 'Ghost' was still fresh I might as well also freshen the blog with its rendering. With much love and gratefulness your friend,
Robert 'BobCat' Goldsborough
ps.-I still have more to come.