The View from 50 Feet Up
Two hawks, a married couple, are circling the tall trees above a big stretch of greenery to the south.
A flock of ducks just flew by, really low, as if avoiding somebody’s radar, their necks stiff as a water spaniel’s.
A big white seabird with a tail that looks totally cosmetic but is otherwise a dead ringer for the erstwhile supersonic Concorde is overdue for an appearance. It always heads east. I have no idea how it gets back to wherever it goes to on the mainland. And there’s little likelihood there’s more than one of them. The newspapers run stories every summer about how rare that bird, a tropical species, is to these parts. He’s (I assume it’s a “he” by what follows) apparently a tourist looking for a mate, the females in his usual locale all spoken for.
This is my view, along with more mundane sights that would only spoil the effect. As would the fact that I’m not actually in a treehut qua treehut. But I really am 50 feet off the ground, and that’s not counting the 150 feet above sea level beneath my perch. Use your imagination. That’s what I do. That’s why I write fiction–novels, short stories (click on one of the book covers to read a free sample). We all have our treehuts, “laughing places,” like Brer Fox in the Uncle Remus tale.
Those hawks and ducks and whatever that exotic white creature is called, not to mention the trees, the gargantuan trees, are all necessary to my peace of mind. But the real treehut I live in is the one between my ears. In there, in here, I can be wherever I want, whoever I want. No-good boyo who lives just for the day and his next high (Billy Boy); plucky though terrified young woman trying to extricate herself from an abusive marriage (Look at Me Now); or any of the characters in my short story collection–a Jewish girl with a father who delights in upending the pretentiousness of his neighbors, an elderly nun with more than a spiritual fondness for a dying monsignor, a Park Slope yuppie accused of molesting a Sunday-morning jogger.
Writing fiction is just daydreaming with a pencil in your hand. We all do it. Some of those who do it best never share what they create with the rest of us, never even realize how good they are at it. Thank God. There’s enough competition already from those who think they have something worth sharing.
Have a look around and see if my own daydreams are of any interest. I’ll keep you posted when I come up with new ones, and let you know the latest on those already in print and/or pixels.
And, please, let me hear from you. Daydreaming, at least when you do it as a profession, can be a very lonely business.
The big news this month is that my novel Billy Boy has gone digital…at an introductory price of just 99 cents. Click on the Billy Boy image for more info, plus an extended excerpt from the book.
Also making the Treehut headlines (squirrels take note), Look at Me Now is catching on finally after many months of flat sales. Word of mouth? The right alignment of the planets? Who knows.
So, stay tuned, and I look forward to hearing from you.
-Tom Hubschman (pronounced hup-shmin, if it matters)