diamond-t

Yet Another Strained “Box” Metaphor

“Great writing doesn’t think outside the box. It never knew what the box was in the first place”

— Dan Holloway

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I never really understood boxes. It’s cost me a lot through the years. “Boxes” are  — by definition — definitive. Definitions tend to be social in nature. I’ve had a complex relationship with society for most of my life. My inability to recognize “boxes” comes from my inability to accept social constraints in the first place. This can prove costly. If you don’t like the “success” that comes in the box, you can work very hard inside the box and never be happy.

A young friend of mine told me something very interesting. He told me certain young women didn’t seem “hot” to him until he heard his friends — in private — pointing out how “hot” they were. He’d take a second look and see the females in a new light. He found himself suddenly agreeing that yes, they were “hot.” It wasn’t just social pressure: The awareness of their “hotness” to others actually caused a physical reaction in him. He was attracted to them physically — biologically — but only after their attractiveness was endorsed by his peer group.

That’s the power of the “box.” His peer group was a defined box. That box had defined other boxes, some more worthy than others. Boxes.

And — as a better writer once said — so it goes.

But what happens when you don’t have that social group to tell you what’s good and attractive and seemly? Well, then things get difficult. You don’t have popular definitions of “success” to strive towards. There are no guidelines. You need to make it up as you go along and hope it gets you someplace suitable, if not entirely comfortable.

That’s the story of my life.

Eye of the Diamond-T doesn’t fit into any specific box. I didn’t write it that way just to be difficult. I honestly can’t do what other people do. I grew up without any box to fit into. If there was a box when I was growing up, it didn’t look like a box. It looked more like a Klein Bottle or something — some impossible geometric shape offered up as a thought-exercise intended to show a student the limitations of geometry itself. “The point is that you shouldn’t put too much faith in geometry, but hope you have fun with this!” it seemed to say.

Thus, Diamond-T is an impossible geometric shape that defies easy genre classification. It’s a romance, a spy/conspiracy story, a mystery, a coming-of-age story, a spiritual journey, a commentary of the political and social atmosphere of America in the ’50s, and a nostalgia trip. If there’s a “box” that all fits into, I think that “box” is called Eye of the Diamond-T.

And although it might not qualify as “great writing,” it’s what I had to do.

And I hope you enjoy it.

“Selig” means “Blessed”: Happy Coincidence

A dear friend brought up something interesting about my choice of locales for Diamond-T the other day. Something I hadn’t thought of at all. It was serendipity. Just a happy coincidence.

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The pivotal scenes in the book happen in Seligman, Arizona. You might remember that name from various human-interest stories about the hardy eccentrics who still live in this little town–one of the last along Route 66 to be bypassed by I-40. It also served as an inspiration for the Disney movie Cars, which thanks to my 8-year-old son, I have seen upwards of 100 times.

Anyway, this friend called to express delight about the book, but also to ask me if I knew what “Selig” (as in the first part of “Seligman”) means in German. I really didn’t. I knew the town to have taken the name of a railroad official in the area at the time the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe laid rails through the area near what had long been a wagon path, and before that a footpath, and before that an animal migration route.

It turns out that “Selig” means both “blessed” and “departed.”

In the context of the book’s location and what happens there, that’s pretty astounding. What makes it even more so are the Germanic natures of those who oppose my protagonist, Nick Pente.

So the main character finds his solace and redemption near a tiny Arizona town with a name that means — in German — “blessed, departed man.”

That, my friends, is only one of the many such happy coincidences that shaped Eye of the Diamond-T.

I hope reading it will also give you an inspiration to find the happy coincidences in your life.

Check it out at diamondtbook.com

And the Story Goes On . . .

I’m hard at work on the next book, which will take place 100 years after the the first.

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They both share a common universe, but each book stands fully on its own.

If Diamond-T is the purgatory, then the next book will be the final descent into the depths of Hades, with a triumphant redemption towards the end.

And yes, you can expect off-kilter characters, wacky situations, and both pop-cultural and mythological references — not to mention stretches of dialog which sound lifted verbatim from people once overheard arguing about lawnmowers and transcendence outside of a nudie bar somewhere near Elko, Nevada. That’s just how I write. Sometimes.

Anyway, please get “Eye of the Diamond-T” and start the mystical journey through love, war, the American West, mental illness, CIA mind-control, sheep, explosions, semi-trucks, and Perry Como today.

PS: And thanks to all who’ve already started! Keep those cards, letters, and reviews coming.

https://diamondtbook.com/

Another Great Review for Diamond-T!

“I really loved reading this book. The character weaves in and out of time, and LaBrie is able to paint such vivid pictures with his writing, capturing drastically different settings of the first half of the 20th century in rich detail.

The book flows easily and yet it’s also rich with layers of meaning. It’s suspenseful, action-filled, witty, and deeply psychological, so I think anyone would really enjoy reading it and get a lot out if it. Plus, the protagonist is really relatable, even for me as a female. Even after finishing, I still find myself thinking about him and his journey. I’m going to buy several copies of the book for people for the holidays because I’m so eager to talk about it. There’s so much to take away.

Highly recommended!”

— Kate Goldhouse
Check out Kate’s nutrition and wellness page at http://goldhousegourmet.blogspot.com/

Diamond-T available in print/Kindle on Amazon HERE

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