The Lemons-and-Lemonade Analogy

I was recently seeking a freelance gig to do the memoirs of a retired highly decorated Wichita police office. I did my research, put together a proposal, and met with the gentleman in his home for nearly two hours.

He was very hesitant, having never actually sought out the limelight before. This despite the fact that there were numerous newspaper clippings of his exploits meaning that the media sought HIM, certainly indicating that his story is worthwhile. On top of which, true crime stories usually focus on reprehensible criminals and less on heroic members of law enforcement. It would have had a built in hook. But you have to respect a man’s privacy. And I did and graciously thanked him for his time.

This is not to say that I was not disappointed. To think of being able to score a major writing coup AND present the story of this utterly fascinating man — well, it didn’t happen. The fantasy sequence ended right there.

However, many of the stories he told were fascinating, worthy perhaps of a fictional dramatization. I brought that idea to his attention; he was amenable to the idea. On the drive home that night, I began formulating ideas for a novel that could somehow incorporate this man’s life.

I am still working out the concept. I know I have SOMETHING. And even though my primary goals for this year were editing and revision and no new projects, what ARE you supposed to do when something this wonderful jumps in your lap?

Time for some lemonade.



  1. BD said,

    August 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Good luck, HB. Sounds like a fascinating man and a wonderful kernel for a growing story. Go For It and have fun with it. You just never know where the muse will strike, do you? Thanks for sharing your post! BD


  2. August 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Make notes and let it simmer till it grabs you by the throat and won’t let go. Then, of course, you have to write it.

    I have characters that start talking to me the moment I enter their county. They don’t shut up till I arrive at destination (ever wonder why the GPS is more exited to get there than you are?), then start talking as soon as I get on the road again. Have been making notes and looking for a small digital recorder. May have to rearrange the order of “next” books to be written.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      August 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

      It is funny that you mention the digital voice recorder. I purchased one in anticipation for the assignment. I considered several hours of discussion from an energetic man. No wasted purchase, however. Having such a device handy and convenient for rapidly moving thoughts is useful.
      Thank you so much for your comments.


  3. George C. Berlow said,

    August 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I am always interested in Tikiman’s writing and comments,
    why shouldn’t I be , I am his father. I am glad that you made an attempt to write about somebody who has done good and has been an asset to his community. The Media too often focuses
    their stories on the back alley type of interest. What we need is more tales about the good in the world and not always about
    the Mothers killing their children, the Rapes, the wierdos.etc.
    This is my personal feelings. So be it.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      August 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

      I believe it is possible to write good and intense crime fiction and show that in many cases there are heroes. I’m not surprised that we agree on this point. as they say, the acorn does not fall far from the tree.


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