The renowned baritone, 100 years deceased, speaks to our own Charlotte Graham about his inability to find writing inspiration; over a decade before his operatic career begins.


BYGONE:  It’s November 5, 2007, and I am visiting Scott ____, in his home.  Mr. ____, you are aware of the possible consequences of your participation, correct?

____:  That it could alter my future and your past?  Yes.

BYGONE:  You’re not afraid?

____:  No.  If time is cyclical, then this is meant to be; if time is linear, I will be unaware of any consequences.

BYGONE:  Well said.

____:  Good.  Talking has always been easier than listening, for me.  And if I express myself most, using the fewest words, I’m making progress.

BYGONE:  Progress toward what?

____:  Anything!  Life is a journey, not a destination.

BYGONE:  Is that a mantra, for you?

____:  Sometimes.  I carry mantras wherever I go.  Earlier this evening, as I walked home, I used this Hindu passage as a mantra: “You have but the right to perform action; you have no hold on the results thereof.  May you not seek the rewards of action.  And may you never engage in wrong action.”

BYGONE:  And is that your mantra now?

____:  No.  Now it’s a passage from a Deepak Chopra book: “Relinquish your attachment to the outcome; everything is as it is meant to be, in this moment.”

BYGONE:  You let me sit on your recliner, while you sit on the sofa.  I appreciate this, but why?

____:  I have few visitors!

BYGONE:  I understand.  I also thank you for this coffee; but you serve it in a styrofoam cup.  Why?

____:  My dishwasher has been broken for years, and I’m too lazy to wash dishes by hand; so I use styrofoam cups, plates, and bowls,  and plastic spoons and forks!  By the way, I’m told these materials are not biodegradable.  What consequences will result from our using them?

BYGONE:  I remind you that the less you know of the future, the better.

____:  Oh yeah; sorry.

BYGONE:  Before this interview, you mentioned your difficulty finding inspiration for writing.  Can you expand on this, for our readers?

____:  I always try to write something, between Thursdays.

BYGONE:  Thursdays?

____:  Yes.  Each Thursday I meet with a writers’ group in Pace, to enjoy the writing of others, and to share my own.  I’ve only attended 4 sessions, but I love it.  It takes me back to my college years.

BYGONE:  What would happen if you attended a meeting with nothing of your own to share?

____:  I’d still enjoy it, though not as much.  In receiving, I give; in giving, I receive.

BYGONE:  Yes; so you need to write each week, between Thursdays.  Do you sit at the typewriter, and try?

____:  No!  That’s like lying in bed, trying to sleep!  It doesn’t work if I try.  I must live my daily life, hoping to be inspired sometime in the week.  It’s like courtship.  If I run from a woman, she follows; if I run toward her, she flees!

BYGONE:  Then let’s take a look at your sources of inspiration.  I can see why your recliner faces your living-room window; sunlight streams through live oaks.  You view this when listening to your stereo, don’t you?

____:  Yes; except during the most sublime musical moments, when I close my eyes.

BYGONE:  And I am literally surrounded by VHS tapes, books, CD’s, DVD’s, record albums, and audiocassettes; literature, music, and film.  These must be sources of inspiration for you!

____:  The music and film are, but I haven’t read any books in over a year.  These days, I work cryptograms instead.  Take a look.

BYGONE:  Challenging Cryptograms;  what will you do when you’ve solved all of these?

____:  If I cannot find any more cryptogram books, I will force myself to return to reading.  You see there, on the end table, A History of Pagan Europe; well that’s the last book I began, so it will be the first one I finish.

BYGONE:  And in the meantime?

____:  I can only hope that I’ll wake up with an idea, some morning during the week.

BYGONE:  What about your dreams; are they sources?

____:  Ah, my dreams are fantastic beyond description!  When sleeping, I live a totally different life.  In fact, I often wish I could sleep and dream forever.  Yet once I wake, I forget the details of my dreams; thus the inspiration fades.

BYGONE:  Your muse is fickle, isn’t she?

____:  Yes.

BYGONE:  Any final words for the readers of Bygone?

____:  No.  There are enough words already; there’ll be even more, in your time.  I will let your readers find their own words.

6 Responses to “BYGONE INTERVIEW: SCOTT ____”

  1. 1 theduffboy June 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    “That’s like lying in bed, trying to sleep! It doesn’t work if I try.” Ain’t that the truth?

  2. 3 bschooled June 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    This is great!

    I also like the writer’s group idea, I wish they had something like that where I live.

    • 4 solosocial June 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      Thank you!

      Actually, I wrote this for a group I no longer attend–I’ve been an active member of a different writers’ group since 2008.

      There may be a writers’ group near you–perhaps you could check the Internet or your local newspaper!

  3. 5 the weirdgirl June 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Fun! I think writing groups really help! They are hard to find, though. Sometimes I think writing is the one art with the least support.

    • 6 solosocial June 5, 2011 at 12:46 am

      I think so too.

      Here in Pensacola, the musical arts, the visual arts, and the dramatic arts are strongly supported by the populace as well as the local government. But the literary arts are shamefully neglected. I asked my brother-in-law, Jeff, about this a while back, and he had an idea that made alot of sense. He suggested this disparity was due to the expectation of instant gratification in our society–it takes some effort to listen to music, view art, or watch a play. But it takes more effort to listen to literature being read, and especially to read it.

      Thanks for your comment!

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