During a recent coffee shop gathering at Topside Coffee Cabin, two elements were present making the meeting somewhat Ernest Hemingway-like. Present at the table were two writers and two drinks.
Susanne Bacon, a published, internationally known author teamed up with Joe Boyle, an internationally unknown wannabe author who is only famous at Topside Coffee Cabin.
Their agreed upon challenge was to gaze upon Susanne’s single image of a piano abandoned in a meadow at Fort Steilacoom Park near Waughop Lake. Why gaze? The two writers agreed to use the photo as the inspiration for each of them to write a new story from scratch. The same image was set to spark two stories.
Directly above is Susanne’s Fort Steilacoom Park image of a piano that mysteriously appeared and then mysteriously disappeared.
It is rumored this paranormal piano sighting has something to do with the controversial toxicity condition of Waughop Lake. In most cases no one ever knows where a rumor like this starts. In this particular case, I can tell you I stated the rumor, which gives me confidence the rumor is valid.
CREATIVE STORY STEPS:
Step #1: Joe and Susanne each select a place on the Writer’s G-force continuum to process the image in each of their minds. The G-force continuum offers each author the choice to glance, gander, gawk, or gaze at the piano photo in an effort to capture the subtleties and details radiating off the image.
Susanne is blessed with a photographic memory. She can look a the photo one time and remember days later there was a piano in the meadow. Joe has a instant camera memory. Joe can look at this photo just one time and instantly forget there was a piano in the meadow.
Step #2: Susanne and Joe leave Topside Coffee Cabin and go to their separate respective writing places.
Step #3: With significant risk to their creative reputations, Joe and Susanne publish their two stories. Their two stories, generated by the piano photo, are published back to back on the same day; one after another. They do not collaborate on their drafts. How is this going to turn out?
Step #4: The readers of The Suburban Times get to see how two different minds looking at the same photo are able to creatively come up with two different columns for publication.
I have gawked long enough. It is now time to start my writing.
My mind, like the photo, is almost, but not quite empty. The photo does cause miscellaneous thoughts to flood into my empty mind.
#1. Piano jokes: (a) Did you hear about the piano player who kept banging his head on the keys? He was teaching himself to play by ear. (b) What is a piano player’s favorite vacation spot? The Florida Keys.
#2. Old Time Piano humor: Watch a Victor Borge video to see what is now classic piano humor. Link: Victor Borge Piano.
#3. Piano Fling: The lone piano in the middle of Fort Steilacoom Park reminds me of the popular TV show Northern Exposure’s, The Piano Fling Scene. I wonder if it was Chris who flung the piano into Fort Steilacoom Park? If he did, then this was not a prank, but rather creative art.
#4. Piano Guys: The lone piano in the middle of nowhere reminds me of The Piano Guys who often play their instruments in the middle of nowhere. Where ever there is a piano, there is piano playing potential.
#5: The photo below is a piano now ready to play the field.
#6. Top 5 Boogie Woogie Piano Players shows that a piano found anywhere has creative potential.
Remember Joe Boyle is only 1/2 of the Double Take. Susanne Bacon is the other half of the Double Take. We think you will agree that 1 + 1 = 3. As the writers of Double Take, we shall for ever more be known as Double Trouble.
And on that note, or I should say notes, I wish to conclude Boyle’s Double Take – Piano In The Park with the words of those famously successful writers who have gone before me.
Editor’s Note: Care to read Bacon’s Double Take? Click here.
Joe Boyle, author of the Suburban Times’ column “Westside Story”, and Susanne Bacon, novelist and author of the Suburban Times’ column “Across the Fence”, are sharing their thoughts about a variety of topics in their joint project of double features called “Double Take”. Comments are more than welcome, as they know that the world has more than their two angles – the more the merrier.