Rarely Asked Questions: How did Jonathan Seagull come to you?

NOT THE WAY I expected it to come.

The first time in my life I heard a voice, with no one there to speak it.  I was walking alone one evening, a starving young writer desperate to know how I was going to pay the rent.  Then someone behind me and to my right, said, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”  It was decades before I realized that was a simple, honest answer to my question.

I turned, pretty well startled, and there was no one there.  I went home, frightened, and locked the door behind me, wondering who was the voice and what was a Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Hours of puzzlement later, about the time I had to admit I hadn’t a clue what was a Jonathan Livingston Seagull, my office wall disappeared, and in its place, a Cinerama screen.  On the screen I saw the ocean below, and the sky and one solitary that’s what must be a Jonathan Seagull.

The story unfolded and I wrote what I saw, as fast as I could write, scene by scene.

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