A Story by Mark

This is an explaination of a set of four works, in three different formats, I have written.


I’ve done something odd, but which works. I elected to tell a story of a life, ostensibly my life, via two literary fiction roman à clef novels, a non-fiction book on data management and reporting, and a play written, thirty years post relationship, by the protagonist character of the first two books.  


In the first two books I chose to focus on relationships, as that is a commonly understood thing; and the thing most people work on, want and use to define their successes and failures. It is what they are about, more than other things. I could have chosen to define the character, and his life, via jobs held. That would work just as well, but would not be that interesting to many, specifically me. It could be a platform to understand relationships, but who the hell cares? I don’t care all that much, it would just be a job. Most of my life was not focused on a job; just as it was not focused on school. I mentioned them in the text, only as it supports the moment.


After I’d finished the second novel, I had the character, at age thirty, hanging out at that place in time. I closed the book with him reflecting on this moment, when he was near sixty years of age.  I started writing another novel, to cover the time between age thirty and sixty, but it really came together as a set of essays, not really focused on the evolution of relationships, as was the case in the first two books.


Independent of this work, I was writing an explanation of a new process, developed at my actual job, to explain a way to manage human subject data via process management, as opposed to trying to understand it by imagining treatment outcomes; which functionally, are not measurable. In the process of writing, revising and editing this I wrote the play.


The play is dialogue; as plays are. It was a wonderful way to define, to lay out the two characters, from the novels, on which, it is based, as each voice has equal value, they say things and the other reacts, without this being processed through the point of view of a single character.  It was a way to give the two a way to comment, to explain, to come to their own conclusions about their relationship, and all preceding and subsequent things that happened with, because of, or independently, from that relationship. “All this stuff happened a long time ago, it is still as close as when it happened, but we have had a lot of processing time, and here is what it means to me.”


It occurred to me that the themes connecting the novels and the play, passed through the data book, in the same way, not a lesser version of them, or an adjunct to the philosophy; but it was, in fact, the philosophy as defined through what the character learned during his working career, with a specific focus on the time between age thirty and age sixty.


The same as I chose to express the themes and the overarching philosophy through relationships in the novels, I did through a summed-up version, not exclusively in a liner sense of jobs and supervisors; but as what was learned, about data from having a job, dealing with the maintenance, interpretation and use of data.  The three formats do the same thing, they are the same; it is data management and processing in the novels and the data book, as well as the play. Each is about accumulating things, experiences and managing them; processing them.


The advantage of the non-fiction book is that the details of relationships, the inner workings of time and place and people, can be et aside to get a cleaner expression of the philosophy. It’s nearly, but not quite a stripping down of this to the core values.


In the data book, I do layer this in, the way to understand the philosophy, via the construct, with specific examples. I wrote this initially, in five parts. I removed the fifth part, which, by volume, was about one third of the book. I then added it back in. It is, effectively, a second rendition of the first four parts, an even more stripped-down version of the philosophy.


The many themes are contained under a few overarching ones.  One set involves consciousness, what comprises this. I allow that his is constructed from many parallel realities, in a simplified statement, ways to see the same thing, in multiple ways over time. Many things form this, real things imagined thins, imagined real things, what might be called lies, inventions, the fantasies, the reformed or reimaged things, all have equal value, as what might only be seen as tangible, to some, if two people can see it the same way at the same time.


In this form of construction, I can for example, make my understanding of, a relationship with literature for the character, a relationship with a woman.  It can be an expansion of an interaction with an actual female, expanded upon.  It is just as real as a supposed real thing, as the impact is the same, the way it affected the character is the same. These things are no different than the analogies I use when explaining how to understand data, in the data book. The things are true, no matter how they are constructed.


The play allows these processed and imagined things to be expressed in an interaction with another person, not to test them, but to see them expressed, in how the characters form interactions and actions to bring them out, to discuss them, to make them more real, to take them to that next level where they are shared.  The characters, in dialogue, form the conscious act of writing, relaying this information, explaining how it came to be, to another person. 

© 2017 Mark

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Added on November 12, 2017
Last Updated on November 12, 2017



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A Story by Mark