Last month, I had the privilege of performing with the Phantom Regiment Alumni and the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps at their home show, the Show of Shows. It was the first time in three years I was able to perform with them. But what does this have to do with writing?
One of the key things I learned when I marched was the work ethic needed to succeed, which I still have today. It influences how I write as well as how often.
The first thing I ever wrote that got published was my first tour diary entries in the Phantom Regiment yearbook from the 1983 season. Thankfully, I had a good editor. I wrote things before, including a high school paper that got an honorable mention at my school district's English fair. I decided to leave the honorable mention paper out here, because it was supposed to be an argumentative paper and my key points were all fiction. The yearbook entries are accurate and I even asked other corps members about what was going on with them. After all these years, I'm glad I did it.
Now I got to perform with these people again, as well as alumni dating back to the 1970's. We celebrated the 30th anniversary of the New World Symphony show, which is one of my favorites. The great part of these reunions, outside of performing, is to reunite with old friends and meet new ones...and to get story ideas.
In addition to driving 900 miles each way, there were periods of free time when I had time to write (not during the drive) or work on story lines. Well, I didn't write, but I managed to figure out a way to fill a story hole in Return to Origin. Sooner or later, I'll finish the first draft of that story, probably after rewriting much of it.
The bottom line is I had a blast over that weekend. It was great to see everybody again and get to know new friends. Excuse me, get to know new Phriends. The pic below was taken after alumni horn rehearsal ended and the Buick section did a pose from the 1989 show.