As a fun, little treat for my readers, I’m writing a Call Me Emily spin-off. Meet Colin is the story of Colin Ryan, his life and perspective as he meets and develops a friendship with Emily. Colin is a young, part-time instructor at Cal West University. Emily is a freshman at Cal West and immediately takes to Colin as a mentor and friend. He keeps his distance, making sure he is professional at all times. But circumstances change, and soon Emily and Colin are dealt a new hand. One with a few more possibilities.
Call Me Emily deals with these scenarios from Emily’s perspective. And how fun it’s been to write Emily’s life through her eyes. But wouldn’t it be interesting to write from another character’s perspective? Wouldn’t it be cool to meet Emily and interact with her from a guy’s perspective?
So given that you all said YES and jumped up and down with enthusiasm, I will soon bring you Meet Colin. It may simply be a piece of writing or a short story – I don’t know yet. But I do know I’m having a good time writing it.
I noticed a few things when I started with Colin’s perspective. I’m in a sense writing a snapshot of the male psyche. With each word I feel a shift in language, attitude and even posture. Yes…posture. I know it seems crazy. It surprised me too. But I felt my shoulders relax and my ankles uncross. The dialog is different, of course it is, but I also found the narration to be characteristically different than my usual voice. It’s almost as if, when I’m writing, I have a different personality.
So in the next few weeks I’ll be transported back to southern California at Cal West University, but not as a female student, instead as a male professor. I’ll interact with Colin’s friends and colleagues and get an idea where he comes from, what his family is like, and what stamp past relationships have left on him.
To wet your appetite, here’s the introduction:
“You’re doing what?”
“You heard me.” Luke. The one who couldn’t wait to get out of college and now I’m going back. Well, not really the way it sounds. I’m going back to teach.
“They approached me, Luke.” I shrugged, as if that was it. It wasn’t. I wanted to be a part of the education system again. I wanted to make a difference in some way, give back. Why was it so hard to understand?
“I’m just sayin’, Colin, it’s weird. You’re finally free and now you want to go back to Cal West. I don’t know. Sounds crazy to me.” Luke took his last swig of beer, bringing the bottle down on the bar with a thud.
“We didn’t just graduate, Luke. It’s been a few years. And anyway…I’m looking forward to it.”
“I’m sure you are.” Luke made a face and turned on his bar stool. “Why do you like this place anyway? It’s practically falling down, there are no chicks, and where’s the damn bartender?”
I didn’t bother answering him. Instead I pushed a few dollars across the bar and finished my beer. I guess not everyone got the cool vibe I did from this old clam shack. I didn’t care. He didn’t need to love this place and he didn’t need to be excited about my new teaching gig. I was. And that was enough.