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Elements of Writing: Orientation (Part 3: The Great Mongolian Bowling League)

Elements of Writing: Orientation (Part 3: The Great Mongolian Bowling League) - Ed Borowsky

 

Spark: The Mongolian-American Taxi Driver

 

The spark zapped me when I was coming home to Orlando, Florida, from my sister's house in Chicago. I hopped into the taxi and the taxi driver asked me where I was headed.

 

I said, "Home, Orlando."

 

He replied, "I'm going to Orlando next month."

 

I asked, "Are you going to Disney?"

 

"No, bowling tournament."

 

I then asked, "Where you from originally?"

 

"Mongolia."

 

"Is bowling big in Mongolia?"

 

"No! On Thursday nights, AMF bowling alleys all over the country have a promotion called Quarter Mania. Between 5 p.m. to midnight they offer twenty-five-cent games, twenty-five-cent bowling shoe rentals, and twenty-five-cent hot dogs."

 

I then asked, "How many people are going to the tournament?"

 

"Over six-hundred," he said.

 

Spark. Six months after that chance meeting, I went to the bowling alley in Orlando to meet the manager of the lanes. She told me that she remembered the tournament and pulled out her records, which indicated that there was about 60 Mongolian-Americans in attendance that day. I must have heard him wrong, but still, with their accompanying family members, I thought that was quite a turnout for the first-ever Mongolian-American bowling tournament in the United States of America.

 

In 1990, Mongolia declared their independence from Russia in a silent coup that put the Mongolian population of 2.7 million in great peril. It thrust the country from an old Soviet-style communist state to a capitalist democracy overnight.

 

This idea swirled round and round in me. I sat down numerous times in the span of two years trying to write the book without success. The fact that I had only met one Mongolian/American was holding me back.

 

One morning I woke up around 5 a.m., in that half-awake/half-asleep dream state, I realized that I could write the book from the perspective of a seventy-two-year-old Jewish man. I had found my voice that early Sunday morning and "The Great Mongolian Bowling League of the United States of America" was born.

 

Orientation: The Great Mongolian Bowling League

 

Bowling is the crucible holding the story, however, "The Great Mongolian" deals with aging and the questions we all ask as we get older. "Did I lead a good life?" "Was I a good person?" "Did my life have meaning?" If you'd like to find answers to these questions, I encourage you to read my book.

 

The orientation is, "Can one live a simple life in a small town, work a small job, live without a family, and find meaning and fulfillment in living?"

 

I'm happy to report that "The Great Mongolian" took first place in the Novella category in the 2019 International Book Awards.

 

In reflection, I got that spark when I entered the back seat of that yellow taxi cab and now as of this writing sparks are still flying. There are more adventures of the protagonist Harold Kushner and his sidekick Murray to come.

 

Would you like to learn more about Orientation and the other Elements of Story? I'm also interested to know, have you ever had a chance conversation that sparked a story? I'd love to read your comments.

 

-Ed Borowsky, Author

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Elements of Writing: Orientation (Part I: The Amazing Life of Art Lemon)

Elements of Writing: Orientation (Part I: The Amazing Life of Art Lemon) - Ed Borowsky

 

This germ infected me about eighteen years ago. I met the store owner who was also the mayor of a small border town in Arizona situated somewhere on the Arizona/Mexican line.

 

The mayor of the town said to me pointing, "You see that air force base over there, that's a top-secret base. That's where they developed stealth technology."


He then said, "Know what they are working on now? Miniatures! Little bugs that have cameras as heads that can walk under doors to spy on the enemy. They have bugs that can fly into open windows, and then with a push of a button… explode."


Fast forward to November 2007, I get into the hobby of RC model airplanes as an activity I could do with my youngest son. In the back of a national RC magazine, (Model Airplane News) I see an advertisement, about a quarter of a page, in reverse print, that read verbatim,

 

"UAV Fabrication Technician"

 

"ITT has an immediate opening for an experienced aircraft fabrication technician to work on prototyping unmanned aircraft designs. Must be experienced in composite, wood and metal fabrication, and repair technologies. A&P training desirable. Experience with home-built aircraft or large-scale scratch-built radio control model aircraft preferred. Must have minimum of 5 years of experience as RC or external UAV pilot. Experience with 5-30 HP size gasoline aircraft engines. HOBBYIST EXPERIENCE ACCEPTED, please send photos and description of projects with resume. APPLICANT MUST BE WILLING TO RELOCATE TO WASHINGTON DC AREA AND BE ABLE TO OBTAIN SECURITY CLEARANCE.
Please submit your resume to…"

 

At this point in my hobby, I was hooked, almost fanatical. I used to fly every day, and I became a proficient builder. I thought I wanted to write a book about the hobby and had never forgotten the mayor I met in Arizona that day, 'top Secret air force base… miniatures… flying bugs played over and over again in my head.


And then, this ad that read, "Hobbyist experience accepted, applicant must be willing to relocate to Washington DC area and be able to obtain a security clearance."

 

This blew my mind, the government was recruiting hobbyists to Washington, DC to build predator drones. The idea of a rag-tag team of everyday Joes going to Washington, DC after being recruited by the CIA wasn't far-fetched. Before you knew it, they were stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia soon on a mission to Afghanistan to save the world.

 

Fast forward eleven years, that's when I sat down to finally write the book. The first line I wrote, "Art Lemon had a very bright name, but his life wasn't so bright."

 

"The Amazing Life of Art Lemon" was born, a 69,000-word literary novel that turns into a thriller in the end. The manuscript is fully edited and ready to be discovered.

 

Orientation: The Amazing Life of Art Lemon

 

Can a person who was rejected by his natural-born parents and ostracized by the community he grew up in find a happy and fulfilled life? Yes, through the loving care of family, armed only with intellect and faith.

 

There are many more germs that have infected my being, one's that I've been meditating on for varying times. At some point, I'll finish my latest book and I'll move on to the germ that has infected my imagination the most.

 

Germs are all around us and they infect the writer. We can't help it. The only remedy for us it to write. Once the story is completed, the germ is finally out of the writer's system. But there is no cure—there are always more germs that infect us.

 

Interested in learning more about Orientation, and other Elements of Story?

 

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, have any germs bitten you? Comment below if they have—I'd love to hear about it.

 

- Ed Borowsky, Author

 

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