Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Catharsis of Childhood Memory

Not too long ago, I blogged about that "coming of age novel" I really want to write, that I've wanted to write ever since I first started writing, what made me want to write in the first place. This summer, I've been taking my daughter out to my parents nearly once a week, and the childhood memories have been coming hard and fast, so I've been pretty busy - even while writing other things - compiling a list of notes about the childhood memories I'd incorporate into that novel.

This past Thursday, after soccer practice, Madi and I went to my parents for her first official sleepover at Grandpa and Grandma Lucia's.  

We had a grand time roasting marshmallows and hot dogs by the fire, and the next day, helping Dad with the chores (feeding goats and chickens  and such). Madi slept in her Aunt Chantal (my sister)'s room.

I slept in my room.

And Holy-Bombarded-By-Childhood-Memories, Batman.

I turned in around 10:30.  Spent the next two hours, in my bed, writing a feverish, first person (which I rarely do) prologue for that "coming of age novel", using my room - and what it used to look like - as a springboard.  And the whole thing is wonderfully ironic: I essentially "wrote" most of my first novel in that bed, where I spent almost two hours writing this past Thursday night.

I was a fairly busy high school kid (not compared to today's little bundles of stress, though). I played sports, had homework and lived in the country, which = chores. And I read like a fiend, so taking time to write wasn't something I did, then. But, somehow or other, my senior year in high school I found myself, after lots of false starts, writing a novel. In a Mead spiral notebook. And I'd do it late at night, after everyone else had gone to bed, with a flashlight, under the covers, simply because I had no idea when else to do it.

So, it was with a great sense of irony that I opened my "prologue" the other night with:

I wrote my first novel in this bed.

Now, I'm pretty busy with other things right now. Have to get back to my Billy the Kid project, and school is starting. So I don't know where this is taking me, how much more of it'll get written. And, oddly enough, I'm a try and go rewrite what I scribbled down the other night, worried that the "magic" of writing those first twenty pages in my childhood bedroom will somehow be gone in my office.

I'm putting it off for the day. Heading out to Horrorfind Weekend in Gettysbury for the day.  Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll go back into that opening, and still find some of that magic there.

But I don't doubt that the next time we sleep over at my parents, I'll produce another 20 pages or so....