Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My New Hampshire Chronicle

(Miked for the camera -- and showing plenty of sweaty nostril on a day so
humid it was nearly impossible to breathe)
It started two weeks ago, when I gave an interview to our local newspaper, The Berlin Daily Sun (an abbreviated version of the article can be found here).  The feature, splashed over the front page and accompanied by a vibrant full-color photograph of me seated at my desk, eldest cat keeping company, circulated around our new home town -- and far beyond. So far, in fact, that on the following Tuesday, I received an email from Sean Mcdonald, a newscaster on WMUR-Channel 9/ABC in Manchester.  Sean pulls double-duty as host of our wonderful all-things-Granite-State lifestyle program, New Hampshire Chronicle.  He'd read the article on our move north to Xanadu, my body of work, and the founding of our new Berlin Writers' Group, and felt I would be a good subject for a Chronicle segment.  I was thrilled.  And a bag of nerves, which is so unlike me.

I've worked for Paramount Studios as a freelance writer, covered The X-Games, building demolition, and written a bazillion feature articles in which I've interviewed celebrities -- all of my childhood icons, in fact.  And though I rarely get star-struck or nervous anymore, I didn't sleep for more than a few minutes at a time the night prior to the day of taping.  Adding to the mix of nerves and exhaustion was the weather's shift from Arctic (it snowed up here the last week of May!) to Okefenokee.  Miserable humidity swamped our fair mountain town, making even the simplest of movements like wading through neck-deep water.

(With Chris, Chronicle cameraman extra-ordinaire, and the luminous
Sean Mcdonald)
As the Tuesday night writers' group has been such a dynamic part of life's new chapter here North of the Notches, at the last instant we pulled together an impromptu Monday meeting of the talented folks I count as friends and blessings. The first to arrive, Kyle Newton, helped set an energetic and uplifting tone that only grew as the rest of the gang wandered in, most with luscious desserts and finger foods in hand.  To commemorate the day, talented pal Judi Calhoun -- the next author feature to grace my blog -- not only brought brownies, but gorgeous hand-crafted journals for Bruce and me, and two silkscreened tees to enhance my literary couture wardrobe.  I'm wearing the one that proudly says, "Gregory Norris, Writer" as I write this post.  You couldn't meet nicer or read better than Judi-Beauty Calhoun!

Through the heat barrier, Sean Macdonald and Chris the Cameraman arrived, and from the start I knew the day would forever be memorable for many wonderful reasons.  The camera was set up, writers settled down in our volcanic living room, and we were asked to hold an impromptu version of our Tuesday night meeting some twenty-four hours early.  We went around the room and read short stories, synopsi, and back covers.  The camera recorded all of it.  Seated among us and soaking up the very good vibe, Sean conducted spot interviews.  Then good pal Jonathan Dubey, whose brilliant play Arthurian is being staged this summer, made a nifty suggestion: we all lined up with our published books in hand and, together in unison, said, "We're the Berlin Writers' Group -- and we'll tell you the story" for the camera.  It may or may not make it into the final cut.  Either way, it punctuated a wonderful dialogue between this vibrant creative community and our visitors.

(Taping Chronicle in my Writing Room)
Soaked in sweat, we then retired to my beautiful Writing Room, where we covered the full range of my life and career up until that balmy afternoon, June 24, 2013.  We discussed my humble beginnings as a strange and imaginative boy in Windham, New Hampshire, through my even stranger adulthood/second childhood here, in Berlin. We talked Space:1999 and Xanadu, Star Trek and Star Trek: Voyager; Sci Fi Channel, The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse and my newest book contract, its far-smaller sibling, Shrunken Heads: Twenty Tiny Tales of Mystery and Terror, forthcoming at the end of summer.  I showed him my files, shooting scripts (we improved a reading from the Voyager episode "Gravity" with he playing Tom Paris, me in the role of Tuvok; Sean aced it while I, clearly, need to stick to the writing side of the business).  At one point, I was asked to write on the spot.  I uncapped my favorite cobalt blue fountain pen, put it to paper, and spontaneously created a few powerful paragraphs that, later the same afternoon, got married to a project I'm working on behind-the-scenes.  And then they taped me standing outside in front of our beautiful new-old home among the hills, for a Trek-style beam-down, complete in post-production with strobing special effects.

This short documentary on my literary odyssey is scheduled to run in the not-too-distant future (updates to follow).  It was a lovely experience, the latest in a long list of fun and exciting adventures since uncapping my pen some thirty-three years ago when I first dared to dream big dreams -- and, more important, to chronicle them on paper.


  1. Holy cow!!!!! That is so AWESOME!!!!!!!! Such wonderful news!!!! :-D

    Sean is a great guy. He interviewed me once for a piece he did on what to do in a violent confrontation. (Back in 2009 the Burger King I worked at got robbed at 6:45 in the morning. I'll never forget what it was like to be in FRONT of a gun rather than behind it.)

    Please let us know when it will be on TV! (I'll have to find a way to record it for Allen; he'll miss it because he works second shift.)

    Congrats hun! :-D

    1. Thanks, Lovely Purp -- and I bet that terrifying ordeal is offering up some quality material in your writing. Will let you know when the program airs!

    2. It was just one of many reasons why I made the main male character a police officer. (And I had to put all the stuff stuff I learned as criminal justice major somewhere! LOL.)