Larry Bassett began writing his novel "Marjorie" by looking through a screen door.
"It was a hot summer morning," Bassett said, "and I was all alone in the house, sitting at my writing table and staring out at the street through that screen door. I wasn't writing, I wasn't journaling, I wasn't even thinking. And then I thought, 'How still it is, out there on the street.' "
And that, according to Bassett, it where it all started.
"That stillness reminded me of summer days when I was a teenager and it was that still - no traffic, no telephones ringing, no sounds of children playing anywhere. And it reminded me of how I felt back then - like I was stuck, with nowhere to go, nothing to do."
Published in 2002, "Marjorie" is the story of a central Pennsylvania high school senior coming of age in the early 1960s, right around the time he was a high school kid in the same area.
"It was the 1960s, but it wasn't the '60s yet - not the famous '60s of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, hippies and the so-called 'Pepsi Generation,' " Bassett said. "In my hometown, it was more like a long, drawn-out unwinding of the '50s. We had an orchestra for our high school prom. On Fridays, boys wore coats and ties and girls wore dresses to school! And in our senior pictures, we all looked like we were 40, or trying to be!"
Bassett will celebrate the 10th anniversary of "Marjorie" with a reading and discussion at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the James V. Brown Library.
Bassett has published fiction and nonfiction in Grab-a-Nickel, The Small Pond Review, The MacGuffin, Artisan, The Pennsylvania Reader, The Iconoclast, Watershed: The Journal of the Susquehanna, Shakespeare Bulletin and English Journal. His fiction has also appeared on the Tattoo Highway and Slow Trains websites.
In addition to writing fiction and non-fiction, Bassett has published two chapbooks of poetry - "Possum Love" and Other Poems (2005) and Northern Tier (2011) - and his poetry has appeared in Hellas, Axis, Poetry Northwest, Sun-Father Journal, Amelia, English Journal, the Pittsburgh City Paper, and Blue Collar Review. He also has used his "got poetry?" programs to bring poetry to schools and libraries throughout central and northcentral Pennsylvania.
The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Family wing at the library.
Books will be available for purchase and proceeds will benefit the library.
For more information, go to www.jvbrown.edu or call 326-0536.