Anyway, the following week, I’m lunching with yet another journalist, a historian, with whom I “do lunch” about once every two years. We discuss assignments, bookstores, publishers, and matters of church and state. Toward the end of the month, I’ll be lunching with a bunch of Scribes (a group of writers who meet twice a month and critique each other’s work). Now why on earth would I comment on these things?
Whether over a salad or a sandwich at the Auburn Deli, these meetings stimulate my thinking and help keep me focused on my writing goals. These meetings are a time of sharing about books, authors, and thematic possibilities. They also help me think through some writing problems. Right now, for instance, I am grappling with the development of a character in one of my plays. I can’t seem to make the antagonist devious and malevolent enough to accomplish what needs to be done in the play. It’s probably because I myself don’t come from a dysfunctional family.
Right now, I am deeply engrossed in the history of ancient Greece and Rome, and I can’t wait to discuss how those civilizations compare with our present America. In ancient Greece, during the time of the Peloponnesian War and skirmishes between the city states, Alcibiades (450-404 B.C.) was quite the fellow! He came from an aristocratic family, received a good education, possessed charm, charisma, oratorical skills, ambition, an impulsive and clever mind, “progressive ideas,” and most of all, fans and followers that followed and forgave him without question! Some of my interest with Alcibiades has nothing to do with politics but with my former career, when I taught literature and mythology at a nearby university. He also has to do with my play. Talk about a character! Alcibiades was a rogue. I wish I could lift some of his traits for the antagonist in my play!
My husband and I take three newspapers; consequently we contribute mightily to the recycling efforts of our town. One paper gives me local news, although lately it seems to be stretching to more counties than our own. I keep up with northeast Indiana politics, theatre and the arts scene from the second newspaper. The third newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, has an international readership, and we peruse that one each morning, marking editorials, op-eds, and articles that “you just gotta read!” Politics, Alcibiades, or the local arts can be heady conversational stuff. For sure, it makes breakfast with my family and lunch with my friends lively.