Years ago when I lived in San Francisco with the my former econ prof ( who will now be known as PGK) we both were attempting to write novels. Mine had to do with the Middle East and a leftist/terrorist group and his had to do with a California cult.
PGK took several breaks in his writing. He researched, read other novels to learn more about craft, watched a lot of movies for inspiration, and at one point was interested in photography. His reasoning was that the visual would help him with the word-smithing.
I have a similar approach. Although I might not be writing that day, I’m working out scenes in my head for Julius, but also making observations of what’s around me that could fit in Julius or for a future story.
I’ve recently been obsessed with a photograph of a mysterious and classically beautiful man, who I’ve coined as my “Magnificent Magyar.” I look at his face, the sweet look in his gray-green eyes and I am head over heels.
I don’t know much about my Magyar. What little I discovered was that he was from Budapest, orphaned during World War II, went to London after the 1956 uprising in Hungary, and was an actor with a cult following. In my obsessive pursuit to learn more, I found a forum that mentioned he died in 2002 at the age of 66 of a heart attack. Two people wrote in and mentioned that he had gone through a rough period. Of course, I tried to dig some more and came up with nothing with an extensive Google search.
Although my focus is on Julius, I like to keep the creative juices flowing with other projects. My Magyar has served as a muse of sorts and he has inspired me to write a story about his life–or better yet–a chapter of his life. Somehow he calls for a bonafide sobbing, tear-jerker.
Unlike the promised Wilde Solution (which proved to be garbage) I will post the story of the Magnificent Magyar. You can all judge for yourselves whether I pulled your heart-strings or not.