This is one of my early posts, written soon after I started Ancient Children. I’m updating it since my blog had almost no readers back then, and most people who read Ancient Children now have no idea how I came up with the name. The photo above shows me with a friend back in the 1970’s.
I named this blog Ancient Children for a couple of reasons. One is that it gives me an excuse to use an old photo of myself, taken when looking good required no effort. Another is that Ancient Children is the title of my first novel, which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and almost got published.
Ancient Children is a typical 70’s novel. It tells the story of a crew of aimless dopers who devise a harebrained scheme to kidnap one of their friends whose parents happen to have money. Since I was more into realism than plot back then, the scheme never really comes off. Too bad. If it had, maybe the novel would have got published. It also might have helped if the protagonist were more likable. She’s a cynical little shit.
I haven’t looked at the manuscript for years, but I remember the beginning: “Maggie steps into her shadow.” As a young writer, I wanted every sentence to be fraught with symbolism.
Now the manuscript sits in a box in the storage area of my office along with other writing that’s unfinished or unpublished, or both. I think of the film The Hunger, with Catherine Deneuve as a beautiful vampire whose lovers succumb to old age but cannot die. She locks them in coffins and finds someone new, but she can’t forget them. They call to her constantly, a chorus of voices in her head, begging her for release, reminding her of the love they shared. Ancient Children calls to me occasionally, but it’s mostly silent now. I’m afraid to look at it. If you saw The Hunger, you know why.