I keep dreaming up stupider and stupider ideas for the ending of The Return of Flipka. My latest had her time traveling from 1978 to 2016 as a part of an FBI plot to stop the presidency of Donald Trump and yes, aliens were involved. Obviously I’m in a slump. If the weather were better I’d forget my writing gig and go down to the teahouse and paint. But the teahouse has no heat.
I write this sniveling, whiny post while listening to Rachmaninoff, someone so gifted that he could not possibly have ever suffered from writer’s block. Or so one would think.
Of course, he did. As a young man he needed therapy for a depression that plagued him for four years and came and went throughout his life. One of his most famous pieces, The Bells, was inspired by another famously depressed artist, Edgar Allen Poe.
I don’t know nearly as much about classical music as I’d like but luckily my husband once belonged to one of those CD of the month clubs. I don’t know why as most of the hundred or so CDs he received are still wrapped in plastic but his loss is my gain. So now I’m going through composer by composer and trying to learn something about each one.
First I was hooked on Bach (whose birthday is coincidentally today). His compositions aren’t as rhapsodic and soulful as Rachmaninoff but it is possible to listen to them over and over again. Try listening repeatedly to Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, I dare you. That piece is so achingly romantic it’s been used as the sound track for many a movie, including Somewhere in Time.
In this movie, for those of you who haven’t seen it, Christopher Reeve is a playwright who’s approached after his debut show by an elderly woman who hands him a pocket watch and says “come back to me.” He forgets about the incident until, while on vacation, he becomes obsessed with the portrait of a woman who lived in the early 1900s. Many plot convulsions later he manages to hypnotize himself and go back in time and meet her. Unfortunately he can’t stay back in time forever. He has to return to present day where he finds out his true love has just died of old age. After this point the plot goes into an infinite loop of past and present spinning like tops and all because of a little self-hypnotism.
Okay, I guess my time travel idea for the Return of Flipka is not so crazy after all, is it? (yes, it is!)