Londonderry Return

Londonderry, Northern Ireland / Setting for Londonderry Farewell

(Email below to my co-author of the novel Londonderry Farewell proposing a new writing project together)

Tom,

Idea for our next book. You and I go on a binge in Londonderry for a week or so drinking Guinness and the alcohol we feature in our novel Londonderry Farewell. (What bottle did we place in the scene where it was gleaming in the morning sunlight as the base gatekeeper visited Mary? The bottle was more than a religions object for the chief gateman of the base. He told Mary plans and ideas developing in Londonderry about the base. Mary relayed this information onto you. Or, at least this is how we have the scenes set up in our novel.

Great news the Derry News is featuring the book! It should sell well with Amazon UK with this publicity. Maybe we present the newspaper with the following idea. You take me to all the places that were important to you during the year of our novel Londonderry Farewell. I return with you to northern Ireland and follow you like a journalist, novelist, screenwriter recording my feelings and comments about the places we visit. Book title perhaps, Londonderry Return. Think about the base and the special places on the base. Think about Londonderry and the places you visited often. The Londonderry you fell in love with was – in effect – this “other” woman you feel in love with. It was never that you fell out of love with Mary. Rather, I think you fell in love with this woman called Londonderry. Whatever form Londonderry (she) presented herself to you in those years. Londonderry was the great competitor for your love and devotion and faith during this year of your life. How does one measure Londonderry against the changes that happened to a family in one year?

Anyway, the next book of ours has to be something that we create together in the present. Not something that Tom remembers and gives this memory to John. Here, both authors create the reality of a time. Not just one author but two authors or narrators. Again, the narrative voice of our first novel Londonderry Farewell is continued in this new book. But here, my voice is present with your exploration of places in Londonderry that mean the most to you from the years of our novel. Which images are you always drawn to when you think/dream of Londonderry in the mid 70s?

Of course I can never know this. However, I can share a memory of it as we visit it together for our return to the site of our novel Londonderry Farewell, to northern Ireland.

Just the dream of an idea. Be fun for you and I to get together for a project.

Miss you. Hope things are going well with current woman situation! 🙂

Blogging a lot of new ideas out there so check out Midnight Oil.

Might visit you sometime in the desert’s winter.

Borrego Springs Desert – West of the Salton Sea

I miss the desert very much. I identify with it so much. My parents both lived and died in the desert. And, it was the only stable home I knew for all of those forty-five years my parents lived in the desert, in the shadow of Eisenhower Peak. I wrote about much of this for the Palm Desert Historical Society and the Sierra Club during my time in Palm Desert when I returned to live there for a few years. As you know, I could only last about three years in the desert. For a number of reasons, we moved back to Ohio.

Yet, back here east in Ohio, I still think of the desert as this “woman” I fell in love with for since those years my parents lived in the desert. But even before that. When my parents took me out to a club called Shadow Mountain in the early 50s. I had been coming to the desert (from LA) since these early years of my childhood.

I find it interesting how I identify a period of my life with a place and this place with a woman.

In the few years I lived in the desert and got to know you, I fell in love with “her” all over again.

The desert is still the grand landscape of America. Showing the drama of life all in one vision. A mixture one never gets elsewhere.

If anyone doesn’t believe me, I suggest a few places in California’s Coachella Valley for them to visit and look out over the landscape from.

Like you thinking, remembering, those special years you spent in Londonderry. I still think of the desert in the same way you think of Londonderry. It is the memory of a special place occupied by some female presence. For me, the memory of place is related to a woman. You live in a place for a period of time and you fall in love with this place and for some reason this place becomes a particular “woman” that serves as a symbol for you. It is difficult to explain the meaning of the symbol. The connection of a person with a particular place.

Think this was the connection you had with northern Ireland, Think it;s also the connection I have with the desert you and I became friends in. That desert I have always loved. I think this is the way it is for all of us Desert Rats (like me) out there. I still think of the desert perhaps in somewhat of a similar way you thought about that other woman of Londonderry during your year at the base. She seemed such a dangerous, enigmatic, beautiful, loving, passionate, wonderful, terrible place (woman) when you were there during the troubles of the mid-70s. Glad to be aboard to help translate that adventure of yours. Now it’s time for an adventure of ours.

John

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