Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coming Home

I’m a writer. I wrote and illustrated my first story in first grade, at Emmanuel Lutheran Daycare (no, I’m not Lutheran, I’m Baptist, that’s just where the daycare was). It was eight pages long, each page held one or two sentences, about a girl who had a dragon for a best friend. They went for a walk, it rained, they hid in a cave. It ended with a rainbow.

I've advanced quite a lot since then. Currently I’m working on more pieces than I can count, but focusing my attention on one in particular. It’s a novel. I wrote the first pseudo-outline summary for it about ten years ago, the summer I left University, before I moved out of Seattle. I was living in a five bedroom house with six other people and looking for a job, so I spent a great deal of time writing at small coffee shops. The original version was titled “The Guest.”

Well, I ended up getting hired into AmeriCorps (that’s a post for another day, I’m afraid), and over the next few months while I worked as an elementary school reading tutor this novel changed shape. Several times. It would take me far too long to explain how the evolution occurred; there are small bits of the original idea still embedded in what it transformed into, but they are so specific to my own life that no one would ever know. Unless I told them. Which I'm not going to now. It’s a long story.

So now the novel is titled “Coming Home.” At this point in my blog post I should have a prepared paragraph to lay out for you, describing this novel in a way that would hook you – basically what you would read on the back of the book – but I haven’t been able to explain it to my liking in just a few words. Basically, and this might sound awfully boring, it’s about a girl who returns to her past in search of a future, and learns to live in the present. How’s that for a hook??

The setting is my hometown (Cheney, WA) though the name has been changed to something far more interesting (September Valley). The characters are loosely based on people I know, but are more constructed of how I wish people could be. The main character has a lot of me in her. It features a large family and the beginning of a love story (all with Christian values, nothing explicit). That’s a subplot, really, woven throughout the story of a girl who learns how to come “home.”

At this moment, I have completed twelve of the (somewhere over) thirty chapters I’ve pseudo-outlined. Not the first twelve, but twelve total. I believe the first six are done, and then it jumps around a little. I will on occasion post updates on this novel, or questions, or snippets (mainly because I think snippets is a fun word!), so this post serves as my introduction to those future posts. And one day when I’m published you can say, “Hey, I used to read her blog when….”

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Highway 195

Have you ever been driving through the countryside and realized you’re the only car on the road? It’s the most wonderful feeling, like you’re the only people in the world, you and your love, and your beautiful children. Time slows down and everything is so quiet it’s like you’re floating down the road in a bubble. The tires rolling down the pavement echo the back and forth of ocean waves. If you’re lucky, the rain will be gently beating down on the windows.

And then it happens. You curve with the road and there before you is another car, someone going slow enough that you’ve caught up to them, and suddenly the peaceful world you’ve been enjoying comes crashing down around you. (Their nerve, to go the speed limit and not a touch above!) The tires rub against the road, making you want to crawl out of your skin. The rain pours down so hard you can’t see well, or disappears altogether leaving the sky around you dark and gloomy.

But then you know. This is the time to pull to the side and let them get ahead again, at least for a little while. Listen to the rain as it slows down to a gentle tap tap tapping. (Yes, it's raining again) Reach your hand over and lace your fingers with your love’s. Lay your head back on the seat and close your eyes. Soon you can start going again, start gently rocking with the waves and the rain, the peaceful quiet of your own little world....I love going for drives.