Last night I had the opportunity for one of my irregular guy's night out poker nights. Last time I won almost five hundred dollars. This time I lost three hundred. Win some, lose some right? But I found something out that was surprising and my mind was worth the three hundred dollars I lost.
I am in the midst of writing my fourth novel. No name yet, but I have several themes that I'm exploring. I think what I liked most about my third novel, Vapor Trail (see here) was that I had far more and more complex themes than I did in my first and second novels. Among the themes I wrote about in Vapor Trail was the idea of the ends justifying the means. That's an obvious one. Another was the nature of conspiracies to overwhelm a person's life for the negative. There was a return to civilian life theme as well as a nine circles of Hell. Lots more depth than either Toe the Line (here) or On the Edge (here).
Some of the themes I hope to write about in this fourth book include writing about Anthony (see here) and writing about a guy at the end of his life who realizes he's not leaving much behind. There will be more, but that leaving something behind will probably be a major theme.
At poker last night one of the guys wished me a happy father's day. Keep in mind these are guys I see maybe once every three months. They play at least once a month, I just don't get there as much as I'd like. So, although I know them well by now, we aren't "friends" in the classic sense of the word. Secondly, even tough I like to think I break even, I probably lose more than most of the core group of players, so I suspect they only invite me cause I'm an easy mark. Still, the point is I know them, but only in a poker sense.
What stunned me was that this "poker friend" stopped himself when he said he hoped I had a nice Father's Day and said, "Oh, sorry man. Forgot about your Dad."
You see he remembered that I had to miss a poker night because of my father's funeral this past year (here). This is a guy who I had thought was just a passing acquaintance, in the life then out again, someone who might be tone deaf about that aspect of my life, and instead he was more in tune than most others in my life. I look forward to using this as a theme in my next novel. Perhaps the main character will be surprised by the end of the book that he has more friends than he previously realized.
When my father passed away I wrote a little blog post and in it I talked about this same surprisingly aspect of friendship and how friends will pop up in places that you didn't expect. I planned on making it a theme back then as well. I suppose I should be happy that I'm thematically consistent.