Ding, Dong, the “Block” is Dead!

I feel like patting myself on the back because I finally broke through a month of stymied writing! Yesterday, I wrote three chapters and and my fingers were flying over the keyboard, producing words that were clicking! (This is where we all do the dance of joy!)

I guess that trip to the library broke the spell. It must be good library karma because I only came away with one book , and like I told you, I really didn’t think I would find anything useful in it.

The was book called “Mafia” authored by the United States Treasury Department Bureau of Narcotics. Inside this unpretentious, phone- book-looking book, I found names and faces of several real characters I planned to use in my story. For instance, to place the book in time I was planning to use Frank “Lucky” Luciano. You can read volumes about this mobster, see movies and documentaries about him, but in all of that kind of research I never thought such a BIG  man in the mob was so short! He only stood 5 ft. 2 in. tall!

Now I wonder how he commanded the respect of bigger, taller, stronger men who answered to him. Would you take orders from a shrimp like Lucky? With this one fact, I’ve come to a crossroads. Should I let my imagination run wild or is there more to research? Little facts like this one thing–that a godfather in the mob was short — can be key. It’s a detail that I will use.

I also saw a picture of the little shrimp. His square face, double chins and beady eyes produced a mug only a mother could love. So how did he convince a woman to marry him and have children?  Hmm. . .

All of this from a dry, 843-page book of mug shots and basic statistics of over 800 gangsters put together by a government agency. Who wouldda thunk it?

I guess this accounts is meant to say, you will be surprised where you will find inspiration. It can come from a sight, a sound or even a dry old book written by the government. And when you find it, jump out of bed and run to the keyboard.

Wonders never cease!

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