Back in June, Katherine Tomlinson invited me to be a part of a charity anthology that she was putting together. The theme was to tell a story about the night before the end of the world. How it's ending was up to the author which left the genres wide open. Of course, I said yes. And then the doubts and fears set in.
My first idea was to write about vampires or immortals. I mean they're still going to be alive when the world ends. What are they going to do on that night? Do they spend the time figuring out a way to die or save the world? But the more I played with the idea, the less it appealed to me.
About this time I noticed the picture on my calendar of a sunset world shimmering in a purple haze. The purple reminded me of Jimi Hendricks' song "Purple Haze". The lyrics suited an end of the world theme especially, "You've got me blowin, blowin my mind. Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?"
So now I've got a teaser of an idea. Back to the picture. There's mountains and a lake and a rock that looks like a turtle. Hmmm. Turtles? Yeah my fantasy brain kicked in and hey those turtles could fly. Of course now I needed a few enemies to fight and The Doors song "Riders on the Storm" beckoned. "There's a killer on the road - His brain is squirmin' like a toad [...] If ya give this man a ride - Sweet memory will die". Okay, I'm on a roll? Maybe. One more song. "American Pie" by Don Mclean. Perfect end of the world song.
Dozens of pages of notes. Song lyrics bouncing around in my head. Half a million false starts. A missed deadline. A firm kick in the butt. A "Once upon a time" beginning and the story was down on the page. Tons of editing and rewriting. And "The Memory Keeper" was finally done.
The character of Marie is based on my Aunt Marie who has always been the "magic lady" in my life.
You'll find the story in "Nightfalls: Notes From the End of the World"
And not just my story, you'll find work by Patti Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Barb Goffman, Kaye George, and Chris Rhatigan to name just a few of the twenty-seven authors who are included in this anthology.