I’m getting ready to write another book. I’m not completely sure what it is right now, but I know it’s coming, the ritual has started. I’m binge reading, not completing full books but absorbing chunks of words, feeding watery images waiting to take shape. I’m watching classic movies, letting the rhythm of their plotting and pacing move through me like a tidal shift.
And, I’m watching all seven season of my favorite, character driven television series, AMC’s Mad Men.
It’s hard to say what pulled me in and held me captive for seven seasons. Was it the absolutely accurate sets recreating post WWII America, both upper middle class suburbia and high rise office suites? Was it the costuming that could have come straight out of the closets of the home I grew up in at mid-century’s tail end? Or, was it the fascinatingly flawed characters that possessed me, a metaphorical bad boy inviting me to shed my parochial schoolgirl uniform and slink into his world the way I would slip into a bosom clutching, hip tracing satin sheath.
From the very first episode of this pitch-perfect period piece, I was hopelessly and fatally in love. Obsessed, yes, but the best loves are obsessions, blazing and resplendent while they last, even while we know, fully engulfed in the flame, that they cannot last. No matter how long the torrid conflagration of souls burns, eventually the fire will die as suddenly as it caught. There will be not even a single smoldering ember left, only ash and longing.
That is how I loved Mad Men and exactly how I want to love writing this next book. It follows that readers will then love it too.