Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mary Lang


I want to bring up the subject of influence. Not necessarily author influence, but rather an event that compels you as a writer.

An event that was significant to me, occured in 1983 in Hays, Kansas. It involved a missing person's case, with undertones of murder. The missing person's name, was Mary Lang. She was about 31 years old, smart and very attractive.

Let me put this in perspective. I grew up in, and then south of, a small town called Zurich, Kansas. Zurich has a population of about 100 people. Hays, is approximately 30 miles northwest of Zurich. Hays has a population of about 20,000. When I was a kid, Hays was the "big city" we could go to, for grocery shopping or to stroll the mall. People just didn't go missing. That kind of thing, just didn't happen.

I was around 11 years old at the time. What I remember most from the incident, was the picture in the paper. All that was shown, was Mary's car door, slightly ajar. That was it. The scene left you with numerous possibilities. Maybe, she ran away. Maybe, she was abducted. Nobody knew then and nobody knows now. Conspiracies and rumors, already a big part of life in rural Kansas, flourished. They remain to this day.

I'm building up to write more in regards to my thoughts on Mary. But I ask you: was there an event like this, or similar in your life, that affects your writing?

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