I have not blogged in quite a while. I miss it, but I have been spending a lot of time with my eighty-six-year-old dad, at the rehab center, where he is slowly gaining strength after a hospital stay. There is nothing I would rather be doing. He has always been great company, and his humor, memories, and love for all of us, his family and friends, is a treasure.
My dad and I enjoy talking about the past. I love to hear stories I haven’t heard before, or hear again favorite stories I have heard and to reminisce with him about things we both remember. This love I have for the past, especially as seen through my parents’ eyes, is one of my deepest emotions and it makes me want to write!
This past week I did finally do some writing, snatching little bits of time to make my fourth – and hopefully my final! – start on a new book. The other efforts were false starts, but as I wrote out these vague ideas I had, they slowly began to form themselves into the beginning of a story. (I think! I hope!)
I had these images in my mind, and memories, and snatches of scenes, but only the very faintest sense of characters. Well, that won’t do! I needed a much better idea of who the main characters are. But now it’s coming. I feel like I know my main characters, and hopefully I will get to know them better! (That’s a good thing, right? Like, kind of important. LOL )
The images I had in my mind as a setting were partly from childhood memories pieced together, of old houses, and of a tree with a swing. I also took pictures of a real house on a street in my town. It was a small, neat, white frame house near railroad tracks.
Beside the house was a huge, beautiful tree with a rope swing. I loved to imagine the children who had sat in that swing, the adults who had given them a push.
Then one day, the house was empty, for sale, and the swing was gone. The house still hasn’t sold yet, and I took a picture of it recently. I also took a picture of the tree that had held the swing. The house in my book does not look exactly like this one, but it has some of the same characteristics. Old, white, wooden, with a green grassy yard and huge old trees. The main character is very much affected by the sense of the memories and the past that cling to the house.
And in my book, I put the swing back! 🙂