Introduction to Extraneous Writing
When you write every day, all kinds of things come out. Back in the 1980’s, when I was just leaving college and had just entered journalism, I wrote a lot of extraneous stuff. Among it was a very solid short story unlike almost anything else I have ever written. It’s called Hard Rock and concerns an aging singer songwriter who never quite made the big time. Also included here is the first Ben O’Brian novel, my first real novel of any kind. It’s called The Northern Line. It has its moments. You’ll find some of the characters from the Hunter Lake Series here in addition to our friend Ben, but you’ll hardly recognize them. The book is not consistent with the series, but in many ways it is the Genesis of everything else. In it Ben is just graduated from college (Not Hunter Woods) and trying to find his way. Hunter and environs don’t even exist here and that is only one of the inconsistencies from what came long after.
Among the later stuff included here is Lake Stories, which is very definitely, in a direct line to the Hunter Lake Series. It’s a play, I’ve mentioned elsewhere originally presented in 2010 at Lake Superior Theatre in Marquette. Most of your favorite characters (or possibly least favorite) are here. I played Ben in the production, Dr. Shelley Russell was Grace, Rob Shirlin was Mark, Monica Nordeen played Jen, Timmy Grams played Michael, and Shannon Miller was Katie. I have very fond memories of that production.
Also included is a play suggested by Shelley, when she said to me that modern writers just don’t have the guts or talent to write plays in verse the way Shakespeare did. Well, never let it be said that I backed down from a challenge. Here also is my unproduced play, Seasons in the North which concerns life in the U.P. and is written in free verse.
I hope you enjoy these curiosities.