Thursday, March 22, 2012

How I came to write Sabrina's Window

Sabrina's Window is still a mystery to me, even though I wrote it.

I wrote the first few pages years ago, set them aside, and forgot about them. I can't recall how I came across them again, but I picked up the story where I had left off.

I never knew where I was going with it, but scenes came to me one by one in random order. Often I'd wake up early in the morning with a bit of dialogue in my head. I'd play the lines over and over again because I didn't want to get out of bed and I didn't want to forget. Then more lines would come and I'd have to get up and write them down.

Later I decided the story was taking place in Taos, New Mexico, because I've always liked it there. I surrounded myself with postcards, brochures and magazines that my wife and I had collected on our trips there. And I had an evocative water color by Greg Moon, "La Loma II," hanging in the studio where I write.

My soundtrack was The Wheel, a deeply moving album by Rosanne Cash.

At first I thought I was writing a short story, but it just kept getting longer. It took me about a year to write the first draft, and two more years to flesh the whole thing out.

I have always been fascinated by the conflicts that come up between the sexes. The mystery of attraction. Gender roles. Power struggles. Trying to find the right balance. Those are the things I tend to come back to again and again in my writing.

Those are the obsessions I explore through Sabrina's Window.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wrecking Ball

Too often we seem to confuse patriotism with a willingness to wage war.

In his new album, Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen shares a more nuanced vision.

Consider the first track, "We Take Care of Our Own." Fierce national pride is evident in the chorus, "Wherever this flag is flown/We take care of our own." Yet the rest of the song and the album add up to a stinging indictment of how far we are from that ideal.

Remember "Born in the U.S.A."? This one is a lot like that. Pride and bitterness in equal measures.

Make no mistake, the songs on Wrecking Ball have a lot of fight in them. A lot of fight and a lot of longing for what our country could be.

It's a sad and angry album for a sad and angry time.