This is the part of the post where I tell you I'm not actually a parent. I'm a writer. Well, a wanna-be writer. Because the title "writer" signifies that actual writing is taking place and sadly, that hasn't been happening much for me. I told myself all school year that this was the summer I'd brush the dust off my many half-finished story ideas and get cracking again. Maybe even (gasp!) attempt to write a novel. June passed by in a hazy, humid blur and then July came storming in like an angry toddler, all fluster and bluster. I had to take notice. And reader, I realized that I HAD to take action. So I put down my Candy Crush game (damn you, level 65!!!) and goshdarnit, I started writing again.
The good news -- I officially have 15 full pages for a potential novel, a story I shelved about two years ago before I took it back out today. The bad news -- I am not really sure where to take the story next. But I guess this is the fun part. The unexpected part. The part where anything can happen.
So what's my story? It's about a young man named Jack who has trouble getting over his first love Ingrid after she mysteriously disappears. Especially when she starts mysteriously reappearing in his life again in brief is-she or isn't-she-there flashes. I'm at the part of the story where I have to decide whether to keep it in the real world or venture into the sci-fi/fantasy realm. And it's a hard, hard decision to make. Because as much as I love reading sci-fi/fantasy books, it's not an easy thing to write because you have to make it believable to your reader. Buuuuut.... I have a feeling that I might just take it in that direction anyway. At least to try it out. If it doesn't work, whatever, I can always rework, revamp, re-re until I find my way back.
In the meantime, here's the last page of what I have so far, just to give you a feel. I'm writing the story from Jack's point of view, which has been fun, trying to get into the mind of a guy. No doubt I'll be asking my boyfriend for pointers to make sure I've captured the voice right.
I welcome your comments and thoughts! Thanks for reading. :-)
Remember when I said this wasn't a love story? Perhaps I should elaborate. This isn't your typical love story. By that I don't mean that this is your usual unrequited love story, with your usual lovesick hero mooning after his usual oblivious heroine. (Though mind you, I've done my fair share of mooning. My darling siblings can both attest to that.) I guess what I mean to say is that I'm not your typical hero. And Ingrid is certainly not your typical heroine. She's not even my first heroine.
In grade school I was forever looking for my new crush. My new heroine. I blame too much exposure to New Wave music. Depeche Mode and New Order were the soundtrack for those heady, formative years. First there was Miss Sharon, my kindergarten teacher. (Yes, I know I started rather young.) I used to love hearing her read to us, and I would spend all of nap time just staring at her, marveling at this creature who was so unlike other women her age, women like my mother. In first grade there was Pamela, a pretty brunette who sat at my table and shared her lunch with me one fateful autumn day. Then from grades 2-4, I was all about Amy, a redhead who lived on my block. I used to sit on my porch for hours just waiting for her to pass by on her roller skates. Grade 5 brought me the exotic allure of Maria, a newly immigrated Cuban student. Our teacher used to pair me with her for group work so that I could help her with her English. Grade 6 introduced me to Mrs. Donovan, my first crush who was (dun, dun, dun) also a married woman. I blush just remembering the unnerving way she had of dropping the chalk and then bending down ever so slowly to pick it back up.
I guess I'm a lot like Romeo, in the way that I can fall in love at the drop of a hat. Only I'm still stuck on my Rosaline, that nebulous, formless character we never even get to meet in Romeo & Juliet -- the one he was supposedly in love with before Juliet? Yeah, her.
Why isn't Ingrid my Juliet? Perhaps it's because sometimes I wonder if Ingrid ever existed at all, or I somehow made her up inside my head, like some mad opium dream. Then I sift through my memories again, digging through the years as if I'm trying to excavate the past, and the confirmation of her existence overwhelms me once more, as it inevitably does. Flooding me with recriminations and regrets.
But if there's one thing I've learned it's that memory is never precise. It's like an overexposed photograph. The colors may be heightened, but the details are blurred, caught somewhere between existence and dream.