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A young girl who dreams.

A father yearning for redemption.

A mother wanting to believe.

And the dying star traveler

who needs them.

Read the Introduction below

INTRODUCTION


In 1971 I was working as a security guard at night while going to college days. I would be locked inside a factory alone all night long. The solitude of the job appealed to me, and it also allowed me the opportunity to write, or at least to attempt to write. I was stuck on a sentence, though, one single sentence, and could not move past it. That sentence? The whorls of fingertips are galaxies spiraling... Somewhat like the character Roy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind who fixated on a shape he could form out of mashed potatoes, I knew those words had special meaning and I was going to keep writing them until I understood what they were. Writing them again and again on yellow foolscap paper with a blue Rolling Writer pen allowed me to shield myself from an unappealing truth -- I really didn't know how to write to completion and I was afraid that I might fail.


During this period in my life I listened to a lot of radio, one station in particular, KNX-FM whose after-midnight fare was eclectic to say the least. It featured a news show whose items were often left of mainstream. One report detailed the story of a college student who had been researching his thesis on small town newspapers before the turn of the Twentieth Century and had come across a sensational headline in one of them, a by-then defunct newspaper belonging to the small Texas town of Aurora. The headline had something to do with an alien craft crashing into a water tower at the edge of town. There was, at least for a time, one survivor, a humanoid creature who was clearly not human. The researcher had petitioned the governor of the State of Texas to exhume the body, which I later learned was lost owing to the locals allegedly removing the creature's headstone, which reportedly read, Here Lies One of God's Creatures, Born Not of Earth. They didn't want all of the notoriety of being home to an alien gravesite, it was suggested.


So, that's one element of The Star Wish. Another was the failure of parents in their children's' eyes through alcoholism. One of my parents was a drunk (and in all frankness alcoholism has been a theme running through all of the drama of my family) and it was a theme I readily wanted to treat in story form. Sometime over the next decade the two elements intertwined one another, the synthesis becoming The Star Wish. Even though I was a boy (as opposed to the lead of this tale, Rebecca) I too wanted to be a writer, I too faced the cynical negative opinion of one parent and several of my siblings when I shared with them my writing aspirations, and I too looked up into the night sky and yearned to know who, if anyone, might live there. I made the hero (heroine) of my story a girl because it was twice the challenge for a young woman of her time to want to go to college, or have a career in a man's world.


The Star Wish is one of my earlier efforts. I experimented with a different style of writing in an attempt to make it more of a reading experience, something screenplays are not known for. The Star Wish was optioned several times over the decades and underwent a number of revisions. This is the version I am most proud of. The quintessential American theme is redemption, its instrument self-sacrifice and standing up to great odds. The one thing my father taught me that is more valuable than anything else is this: Go your own way, think your own thoughts, make decisions for yourself, and if you face a mob of wrong-thinking people, oppose them. Here, I oppose them.


-- Richard Taylor, Cambria, California, July 2010


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