Finally, a day to relax and write.
My wife and I have been taking it easy all day, resting our poor legs. She’s still recovering from a punctured foot (from an errant garden rake… like Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons, but not nearly as funny), and I’m still hobbling around with sciatica. Between us we still have two good legs. We’d be no good in a three-legged race as they’re our left legs so we’d be running in circles. Again, cue The Simpsons.
I’ve been working on two different novels. I’ve never successfully worked on two simultaneously, but both ideas arrived at the same time. One of them is a ghost story, a tale of revenge: a woman being haunted by the husband she murdered. I’ve always wanted to write a purely supernatural story. (Ordinary Handsome has elements of haunting and ghosts, but isn’t a supernatural tale.)
The other project is more personal. It’s far from autobiographical, but I’ve been drawing on a lot of memories of what it means to be a kid. I think that everyone is shaped and affected by their childhood, good or bad, and it’s something they always carry around. Being an adult requires following rules. Being a child is learning the rules, usually breaking them, and testing the boundaries of courage, trying to find a deeper sense of self. And growing up means the rules aren’t always well established. That’s an over-simplification, of course.
Digging back sometimes yields unexpected nostalgia. Penny candy, for instance. I remember it well, but I didn’t remember the sheer variety of it. Waxed bottles with the liquid inside? Wrapped chocolate coins? Licorice pipes? I Googled penny candy, and a rush of memories came back. Oh, and they ain’t selling for pennies these days.
People like Evel Kneival, a personal hero growing up and who was probably responsible for most of my childhood injuries.Okay, he didn’t make me ride my bike up ramps, each one progressively longer and set at a higher incline. But man, I made one hell of a jump back in ’76… I wish I could remember it, but….
Sciatica? When did I become such a wimp? Oh, right, I grew up. Became an adult. I miss the penny candies that aren’t pennies anymore. I don’t miss the concussions or pulling gravel out of my arms.
That’s the joy of writing. It’s a chance to relive the sensations without the pain and expense. But of course, there’s always pain and expense if it’s real.