Tampa, Florida
Part 1

This is not really a chapter of Daniel Meets Mark. I suppose you could call it a foreword. Iím using it in an attempt to get my brain back into Daniel mode.

Most of the stories [other than those provided to me by Cody, etc] are brain teasers. The characters are constantly facing problems that I have to solve; and I have to solve them in an entertaining way. Hehehe. Jeez, why did I choose THIS job!

So now I have another problem to solve: Daniel and Mark together. If ever there was a recipe for fireworks, thatís it. The greatest challenge, though, will be to keep Markís reputation intact. I donít think thereís a single MrB reader who doesnít admire that guy. I certainly do, and *almost* always have. I thought he was a stinker when he first hassled Cody in the school quad. I changed my mind later as Cody revealed more about aggro Mark; his softer side, and his willingness to befriend Cody. Thatís when I decided to take a risk and write Markís story from his perspective. I was often flying by the seat of my pants, and there were times when I thought Iíd gotten it all wrong. But, nope. Codyís persistence and something buried deep down in Markís heart pulled it all together.

So, while I need to be very careful not to upset any of Markís Ďfansí, I also need to create a situation where thereís an interesting and entertaining interreaction between those two guys, as well as with Danielís step bro Greg, his folks, and some of his friends, including Paul.

But the challenges donít end there, folks! I donít intend to drag Daniel through the trauma of learning about Codyís death. Weíve all been there, and itís not something we want to revisit. Iíll write the story in such a way that heís had time to deal with Codyís death, and is coming to terms with it. Daniel has eternal youth on his side. He will never be any older than his mid teens no matter how many years I write about him. I know itís absurd, but Daniel will still be in his mid teens despite the fact that Cody was killed almost two years ago. Actually, today is the second anniversary of the gnote Ė his handwritten and scanned note to me for my 57th birthday in 2001. It was two days early, sent August 27.

Iím also going to have to learn some sailing lingo, as well as something about sailing itself. Pointy end, blunt end, hello sailor, stuff like that. Iíve found a web site that looks like a pretty good research tool, and bookmarked it. I canít have Mark talking landlubber jibberish after having sailed all the way from Johannesburg to Florida!

The meeting between Mark and Daniel will provide a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about Cody from two perspectives. Pardon my indulgence, but thereís no way Iím gonna let the flame of Codyís enormous impact on all of us be extinguished. No way, Jose!

So be patient with me. Give me time to research the story and figure out who does what to whom and when and why, etc. Being a story teller ainít as easy as it seems. MrB

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 Daniel's Diary Daniel Meets Mark Part 2