My husband retired March 2017 and since he’s been home, I’ve been pulled out of my rut and writing; purging the monsters of my past. And it’s been wonderful; writing mini chapters of cringeworthy, funny and sad things that happened grades 1-8 so far.
The last 2 years I have busyed myself with reflooring and staging the ranch, packing boxes, cooking, running my Tradesy store, working out and moving some things to Arizona. Oh, sure, the occasional investigative writing about electric cars and the clothes “tonnage” blight, but not my monsters.
My husband is my go-to editor when I have something I’m just squeeling joy about.
Weeks before he retired, I was a bit addicted to watching Lt. Joe Kenda talk about murders he solved (about 400 of them) in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the early 1990s. Mr W called them my “Gladiator Shows”. I may have even made a new verb answering his texts on what I was doing: “Gladiating and having afternoon coffee, how’s that 3rd meeting today?”
When Mr. W was a little boy, his dad, on Saturday mornings enjoyed watching Italian-made Gladiator movies dubbed over in English (Think Godzilla, Mothra etc.) “Look Out!” (lips still moving) “Here it comes!” (lips not moving).
An indulgent escape, though mine a bit more educational I think, it kept me from writing and shining a light on my monsters.
After I “published online” these mini chapters, Mr W said. “We need to get you a proper writer’s setup-laptop and so on (I love that he believes in me). “Oh no!” I countered. “I’m good in my Hobbit seat with my blanket and phone, typing with my thumb, I don’t want to reinjure my neck and arms again.” (That’s another monster that has partially come out, but may show up later in a short story in Stephen King style).
My other time-waster is Candy Crush Soda. Something mindless that helps me keep up with fairly new pop culture I guess. But now each time I’m tempted, I ask “what could I observe? What interesting details about Utah could I remember? And I’m then off to better things.
Currently, I’m 1/3 the way through Harper Lee’s classic “To Kill A Mockingbird” and I’m intrigued. Maybe I should compile a Novella in that style. Partly based in fact and in fiction and add some history. Bountiful, my home town, was the first pioneer settlement and was originally in Mexico. Slavery was outlawed in Mexico and later in the US,but the pioneers kept both Africans and Native Americans captive.
I make comparisons as I read. Hmmm.. Scout’s family a long tradition in Maycomb county. We were outsiders to Davis county, Utah and not descended from Pioneers. Not having a reputation to uphold perhaps made us freer and took less courage to stand up to things we didn’t like. Lee also uses Southern dialect in her dialogue. If you look at a map of the US, you will see that Salt Lake has a dialect bubble around it. Girls I worked with at the vet hospital in California in the 1980s thought it was great fun to make me say “Coke” (“Colk” in Utahn). Could be an interesting bit of dialog for my book like Mockingbird.
“To Kill a Seagull“? Hmmm. “All the Mormon Airforce does all day is fly around the dump and poop on your car while you drive to the Diary Dell near the moun’in; they ain’t hur’in anybahdee.”
Perhaps not seagulls….
While we were in Indiana, I emailed an author and she emailed me right back telling me I was a good writer.
So, I guess I know 2 living authors now. And one of them, who is published by Penguin and on NY Times Best Sellers list multiple years encourages self publishing. So, I’m encouraged.