18 September 2015

Last Call

by R.T. Lawton

It's getting late.

While there are all types of published writers out there, some literary, some commercial, some humorous, some serious, I have always considered myself to be like the guy relating stories to friends in a bar. We all relax, have a few drinks, and tales get told around the table. Not much literary about it, just common everyday folk getting together for a good time. Some tales are funny, some are sad, most are stories of people, life and just plain living, but in the end they seem to be entertaining to the listeners. Maybe even to folks we don't know who are sitting at nearby tables and listening in to what we say. Anyway, that's how I've tried to approach my story writing and my blogs.

My characters have mostly been drawn from people I've worked on or somehow met on the streets. A few are good guys, but most had at least one foot standing in the criminal element while they rationalized their actions. Don't know if they did the rationalizing in an attempt to convince others they were in the right to do what they did, or to convince themselves they had justification, or both. Personally, my vote would fall on the both category. And then, I also had relatives, friends and neighbors who unknowingly contributed phrases or gestures which helped tag a story character. Some of the latter group would not recognize themselves on the printed page even if the phrase or gesture was pointed out to them in the story.

Because of dealing with street thugs, con men, gangsters, dopers, crooked cops, outrageous lawyers, politics and the flashy adrenaline fueled side of life, most of my stories dealt with criminals as the protagonist. And while my main character may have been a bad guy, he was more likable than the antagonist and generally had some redeeming values. You could say it was our bad guy preying on worse bad guys who deserved what they got. Naturally, all of them could rationalize their actions.

My blogs have covered a wide range of storytelling in this SleuthSayers bar of ours. Past articles have covered stories from the street; topics on writing, getting published and writers conferences; backgrounds on various criminals; and trade craft on surveillance, undercover, raids, firearms and working informants. A couple of times I even ventured into the criminal backgrounds of popular songs from the past.

It's been a good run, but now it's last call and time for me to leave the bar.

I have truly enjoyed your company, everyone of you, whether you came on four years ago when our bar first opened or entered later on and took a seat at the table. This has been a fun, friendly get-together.

Take care and be safe.

11 comments:

Paul D. Marks said...

Sorry to see you go, R.T. But good luck with your next phase.

David Dean said...

Welcome to the ranks of retired SSers, R.T. The pension is really quite generous (I'm writing this from the south of France)and the health benefits cover long stints in rehab! I'll miss your blogs and wish we could have shared a few drinks at the local watering hole. Best of luck with all your future endeavors, and I hope to see you in NYC in the spring.

John Floyd said...

I too will miss your columns, R.T. Best to you and yours, and good luck with all your literary endeavors.

Melodie Campbell said...

I hope we see guest posts from you, from time to time, RT. You will be missed. Waving from Canada, until we meet again.

Janice law said...

You will be missed!
Best of luck with future writing

Eve Fisher said...

We'll all miss you - but drop in and let us know how retirement (from SleuthSayers) is working, and how things are going with the current project. Take care, and thanks for all your kindness to me and other newbies...

Anonymous said...

I'll miss your columns. Best of luck to you!

Robert Lopresti said...

Best of luck on your future endeavors, R.T. And you know you are welcome back any time you have something to say.

R.T. Lawton said...

Thank you one and all. It's been fun to work with professionals. Hope to see you in the future.

Leigh Lundin said...

RT, I'm going to miss your articles. I hope you still drop in at the pub from time to time! Best from me, my friend.

Jeff Baker said...

Thanks for the good words R.T.! If you want to come back where everybody knows your name, I'll happily welcome you! Take care!