“Life”, “Liberty”, and “The Pursuit of Happiness” Conceived

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness by sea turtle

 After wrapping up a working draft of my short story “The Pursuit of Happiness”, I have conceived of a trilogy of stories – to include the prequels “Life” and “Liberty”.  Today I sketched out 25 scene sentences for “Liberty” and I’m carrying the concept for “Life” in my head now, planning to sketch it out this afternoon.  How about a sneak preview?

In “Life”, we meet high school sweethearts Rachel and Steven the night before she goes to college (the year is 1963).  Steven is going to work at a local factory – Cummins Diesel Engines, and Rachel is going to Indiana University to become a teacher.  As the story progresses, they struggle to maintain their relationship with conflicting values.  Steven is a staunch Presbyterian, believing God brought them together for a purpose.  Rachel is woman of her times, drawn into the fervor of new ideas about love, life, and happiness.

The distance between Rachel and Steven widens and she decides to look for companionship elsewhere.  Steven’s attempts to pursue her go for naught.

In a short while, something significant happens in Rachel’s life that will cause her to question the meaning and purpose of life.  She doesn’t know where to turn.  Will she go back to Steven?  Will he come back to her?  What will be the cost and consequences?

“Liberty” begins at freshman orientation – Hanover College, 1982.  David Johnson comes from a “traditional family” with “traditional values”.  He is struck by the liberty he encounters on campus – particularly sexually and theologically.  He is led to a point of crisis where he must ask such questions as , “Who am I?” and “Does God exist?”.  Along the way he faces the paradox that liberty and bondage are often flipsides of the same coin.

So, I have a story (actually 3 in 1) fully conceived and over 1/3 written.  If I maintain my pace of writing 2 scenes a day, I should finish the trilogy in about a month.

But in addition to a story, I have a dream.  I’ve just messaged a former classmate who is now the theater director at Hanover as well as a former professor and the former theater director (when I went there).   My dream is to ultimately premiere this trilogy at Hanover with various alums and professors (as well as current students) playing a part.  To realize this dream, I’m hoping I can work out  an agreement to become a writer-in-residence (and maybe help teach some writing classes) at Hanover so I could compose the play in a creative environment where I could interact with people who know theater a lot better than I do.

Anyway, that’s my dream.  What’s yours?

(image “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of…” from sea turtle, some rights reserved)

16 thoughts on ““Life”, “Liberty”, and “The Pursuit of Happiness” Conceived

  1. it sounds very ambitious and very exciting; it is good to have a solid structure, a sort of blueprint to work within. and thanks btw for commenting on my blog. All the best with the trilogy

  2. Very nice. My dream is to simply finish my novel and get it published. I have put my dreams on the backburner for so long and finally I am at a point where I can put myself first sometimes. Good luck with your stories I will have to stick around and see where you go!

  3. Really pleased for you, fella!! It’s nice to see someone’s enthusiasm and drive pouring from the screen! I hope it all come to fruition. As for me: I dearly want to walk in to a library and bookshop and see someone pick up my book and take it to the till. It will happen! Oh yes!!

  4. I’m impressed with both the sequences you’ve described for your story and your idea for the writing position.
    My dream? I feel more and more that the word “poet” is a very good fit for me. I’m a little sad it took me so long to find this out about myself, but maybe I just needed the life experience.

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