Brian Paul Bach
The FORWARD TO GLORY Quartet, of which TEMPERING is the first part, is my first published work of fiction. However, I’ve been producing fiction in some form all my creative life, along with nonfiction, artworks, photography, and filmmaking. It’s only natural for me, because as it’s turned out, I have to do something creative every day – just to survive! I’m being a little facetious here, but that’s been my modus operandi for the longest time now.
Previously, I’ve had three nonfiction books published, all dealing with the Indian subcontinent – one of my major passions – and an e-book that is a somewhat rough-and-tumble assessment of my own (Baby Boomer) generation.
I like to think that I could draw before I could write, but it’s only because making art seemed a pretty attractive, reasonable, and fun thing to do in life. Writing was embraced as things went on, but my focus was mainly on the visual arts. On the other hand, I quickly evolved (or was it mutated?) into an omnivore as far as the world’s featured offerings are concerned. Such as, movies, architecture, cars, railways, design, geography, maps, travel, adventure, exploration, and the inter-weavings therein. Later, music, literature, and more ‘serious’ approaches, as in, trying to understand it all, came along as enhancements. Actually, a pretty typical discovery of the stuff that comprised postwar America’s world.
I can say without hesitation that growing up in a small university town was pretty sweet in most respects. Not that it was a privilege, but because everything made sense. My family life was action-packed. Three older brothers! My mom, a nurse, always said, ‘I loved every minute of it!’ Yet it was stable enough for us to follow our interests with considerable freedom. My dad was an art professor, sculptor and educational filmmaker, and quite naturally, he facilitated access to tools and means as my curiosity and drive in artistic possibilities grew.
Along with drawing and painting, I made 8mm movies, ran a neighborhood theatre in the breezeway, and wrote/illustrated books with like-minded friends. There’s always been something thawing, simmering, bubbling, or boiling over.
But like many in my generation, progression towards a career was not the top priority. College was a patchy, sometime thing. Agenda-free adventuring was certainly a constant, though being money-free had a more dubious constancy. Still, dare I say, the entity of fun was the chief incentive in my pursuits for quite some time. Not that I was dissolute. True, my (mis)adventures in the used car world were riddled with frustrations and dead ends, and my work experience in showbiz tended to be limited to its fringes, with generally downbeat fade-outs. However, they produced vivid and lasting memories, with few regrets.
Several demanding sequences of factory labor yielded enough freedom-enacting funds to pop off on international travel expeditions. After two major Europe trips with the family, solo travel was a logical progression. Two years of living (like an impoverished elderly person!) in Cornwall and Oxford nevertheless provided a glorious ambience to experience day by day. Further lights beckoned. With India, the initial attraction wasn’t of the spiritual variety, but for its arts, land, and peoples, a combine that adds up to a holistic universe like no other. My appreciation and involvement with it actively continues to the present time.
In light of all this life experience, one of the best things to happen was my marriage to Sandra – thirty years along now – and our home base, succession of cats, and noble canines Hugo, and now Hudson. And as a way of life, artistic pursuits continue, more intensely than ever, in fact.
I’ll end with a bit of self-promotion, which is, after all, an essential factor in showbiz, the world in which FORWARD TO GLORY is set:
As a Complete movie fan, small-scale filmmaker, and most importantly, as a writer, I tossed all my cinematic passion, curiosity, appreciation, knowledge, instinct, tons of details, names and notions, ballyhoo, personalities, characters, inventions, lore, scandal, danger, ecstasy, theory, sensibility (and sensuality) – and love – for film and its consequences, into the four-tiered hopper of my production mechanism. My own ‘studio’, as it were. Then I pushed the button marked blend, and after much chugging and steaming, thrashing and streaming, groaning and screaming, out came my Epic-Noir-Satire saga: The FORWARD TO GLORY Quartet, with TEMPERING [the Actor’s struggles] comprising the first act, to be followed by EXPOSITION [the Actor’s rise], APOTHEOSIS [the Actor’s climax], and concluding with BEYOND FIN [the Actor’s legend].
It’s going the be a GREAT SHOW!
EPIC in its SCOPE!
NOIR in its TURNINGS1
SATIRE by its PLAYFULNESS!
TWO CENTURIES IN THE MAKING!
A CAST OF THOUSANDS – PERHAPS EVEN MILLIONS!
Forward to Glory: Tempering
Butterbugs is a nobody, a nothing. But that’s not why he’s compelled to drive to Hollywood and hurl himself upon the mercy of the cinematic capital. His only dream is to act. Without any plans, resources or friends, he throws caution to the wind and embarks on a journey to the City of Angels. The trials that result pose only one question: will Butterbugs remain a non-entity, or will his big dream come true?
Facing the movie monolith’s prospects alone, Butterbugs attempts to perform dramatic scenes in front of the homeless and amongst the inebriated. Living in his car, and with dwindling reserves, he searches for opportunities, takes on a hazardous scaffolding job, and makes desperate pleas to bankers for clemency. Isolation leads to alienation, from fringe existence to bare survival, all in a city which cradles high achievement and bottomless failure. Despite his rough start, Butterbugs is strangely attractive to other outcasts turned possible allies: Heatherette – a mysterious force for good whom he weirdly rejects, and who in turn, rejects him; Starling – the thief who tries to love him; ProwlerCat – who might indeed save him, though it is far too early to know for sure. At one of his bleakest moments, Butterbugs receives his first sign of hope that his dreams remain alive: a screen test and the chance to be an extra in a major production. But now, with his first opportunity in hand, nothing seems as it should, except his going forward.
Abundant with movie lore and invention, Forward to Glory I: Tempering by Brian Paul Bach is an ode to the cinema and the bewitching power of entertainment.
About the author: Brian Paul Bach is a writer, artist, filmmaker and photographer; he has worked across the entertainment business, in theatre, music and as an academic. He now lives in central Washington State with his wife, Sandra. His previous works include The Grand Trunk Road From the Front Seat, Calcutta’s Edifice: The Buildings of a Great City, and Busted Boom: The Bummer of Being a Boomer.