Monday, October 24, 2011

The Breaking Point

In psychology, the breaking point is a critical moment of personal stress. What are the events that bring people to this point? How do circumstances conspire to shatter the foundations we build our lives upon?

We live in a culture that dislikes exploring the root causes of a nervous breakdown or suicide. We talk in hushed tones about these aberrations of behavior, if we talk about them at all. Usually it is something careful. "That's too bad what happened to Bill. I never saw it coming."

All the drama in many peoples' lives is on the inside. We see blank expressions or listlessness, but there's a cauldron inside and occasionally it bubbles over into actions others do take notice of. "I never knew... He always seemed like such a nice guy."

This summer I set out to prepare four books for publication, massaging half a lifetime of writings into a set of eBooks to be sold on Kindle and Nook. Three are now published. This past weekend I began assembling the fourth, The Breaking Point and Other Stories. With the exception of the light-hearted and anecdotal Liz Mills, the stories in this volume have internal upheaval as their common thread.

The Breaking Point, 1991 winner of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Fiction Competition, features the emotions, expectations, illusions and delusions of mundane characters. In the midst of their ordinary lives there is an extraordinary event.

I wrote For One Night of Love after reading a story by French author Emile Zola. Though the story focuses on the development of a character named Jeremy, it is actually terminates at another's breaking point.

Episode on South Street was written after reading a non-fiction book on obsessive-compulsive behavior. The character is an artist and good Samaritan type with an unusual disposition, driven by his own inner demons and good intentions. This story was translated into a short film that was shown at the Erie Horror/Suspense Film Festival in 2004.

A Brief Transaction is essentially a scene, a moment in time. Like some of the others here it is characterized by the ordinariness that permeates life's surfaces. The internal scenery is altogether different.

The Breaking Point and other stories will be available in early-to-mid November, if not sooner. If interested in my other collections of stories, click on the book covers to your right here at this blog. Unremembered Histories has a paranormal feature at the center of its stories. The common thread of the stories in Newmanesque is akin to the signature twist that occurs in many of my drawings and paintings. The Red Scorpion, published last month, was my first novel.

Note: When you go to you can read the beginnings of these volumes free. But why stop there?


Lincoln Buff 2 said...

Congratulations, Ed.

I've downloaded all three. Just need to get some other things off my plate so I have time to read them. I started Red Scorpion, and I like! Way to go.


ENNYMAN said...

It's great that there are still readers... reviews are always nice, too.