Monday, July 26, 2010

The Write Stuff?

I am a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell or one good book that is trapped inside waiting to come to life on paper.

How many times are you stuck in traffic or trying to fall asleep at night when your mind wanders and you suddenly think of something that would make a good story?

This has been the case for me.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house which is only one street over from where I live now. Unfortunately, because of their passing the house has been sold and it is no longer the magical place from my childhood.

But, anytime I go outside in our backyard, I can see the house and it still calls to me and brings back wonderful memories.

It is my plan to use some of these memories and weave them into a fiction book that I am slowly working on when I get a moment or a quick burst of creativity.

The book is going to be about a woman who comes home after the death of her grandfather to help to prepare to sell the house. While she is cleaning and organizing the house that she spent so much time at during her childhood, she comes across many memories that not only remind her of simpler times but also tells the story of the great love between her grandparents. After she learns about her grandparents she takes a closer look at her own crumbling marriage.

I have been writing on a program called StorYBook. It is a great program, that is free, that can help you organize your thought process.

Today, I thought I would just share a few snippets from what I have written. These two parts are not right after one another in the book; I just happened to pick them out and put them together here.

Also, these are just very rough, rough drafts. I just typed them up as they came to me.

As Elizabeth Flynn pulled her suitcase out from under her bed, she managed to disturb several dust bunnies in her wake.

"Why is it that no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get rid of these guys," said Elizabeth to her furry grey cat, Finnegan who was happily pouncing on the dust balls.

Once she had the suitcase situated on the bed, she zipped it open and proceeded to fill it with clothes from her closet.

As she was making trips from her closet to the suitcase, she kept replaying the conversation she just had with her mother, over and over in her head.

"Elizabeth, I hate to tell you this but I have some bad news," said her mother, Lucy. "Your grandfather passed away tonight."

Elizabeth remained silent on the phone while her mother continued.

"He had a heart attack while taking the garbage out and fell and hit his head. Mrs. Maddison found him, called an ambulance and waited with him while help arrived. The paramedics tried so hard to revive him but he was gone."

While her mother was talking, Elizabeth's mind drifted off to sweet memories of her grandfather. She thought of all the times he had taken her to the local airshow, all the times they watched birds in the front yard and of the last time she had visited him which was nine years ago when her grandmother had died.

She couldn't believe it has been nine years since she had seen him. She felt sick at how she had just let the precious time slip through her fingers without once visiting him and only calling him on holidays and his birthday.

Now she would never get the chance to see him again.

"Elizabeth are you still there," asked her mother?

"Yes mom, I am just trying to take it all in."

"I know it is a lot honey. Your grandfather was a very special man and the world will not be the same without him. Viewing will be on Wednesday and the funeral will be on Thursday, so you will need to get a flight here as soon as possible. Also, there is something else I need to talk to you about when you get here. Let us know what time your flight will be in and your father and I will pick you up."

After Elizabeth hung up the phone, she immediately booked an early flight for the next morning.

Elizabeth was brought back to reality when she heard a knock on the bedroom door.

"I just wanted to see if you needed anything," said her husband James as peeked his head in through the partially closed door.

"No. I think I am fine. Actually I am already to go," said Elizabeth as she zipped up her suitcase and handed it to James so he could take it out of the room.

"You ready to go, Finny-cat," said Elizabeth as she scooped up her fuzzy grey traveling companion to put him in his carrier so she could take him on the trip.

Ever since she brought the cat home from the shelter, the two have been inseparable and she was not about to live him now when she need him the most.

Elizabeth had decided to adopt that cat as a companion because James was always traveling for his job.

Being a foreign communications consultant at the computer company that he worked for meant there were many days and nights where she was left alone.

Elizabeth knew that James felt sorry for leaving her, but he did not want to give up his job because the pay and benefits were too good to pass up.

He would often apologize to Elizabeth by buying her expensive jewelery, sending her on spa trips and giving her a a beautiful home.

But, no matter how many gifts she was showered with, Elizabeth wanted things to go back to how they were when they first met.

Elizabeth drove her orange SUV down Buttermilk Lane to her grandparents' house.

The trees that hung over the street made almost a canopy that allowed the sun to filter through like a natural stained glassed window.

The street was lined by modest houses that were well taken care of and had lush grass carpets that were beckoning for people to run barefoot through them.

Elizabeth almost reached the end of the Cul De Sac when she turned right and up on the driveway of 140 Buttermilk Lane; the place her grandparents had called home for over 40 years.

The house is a modest, one and a half story brick Cape Cod. It has a small front porch with a rod-iron railing.

The front door has a cottage style screen door that always reminded Elizabeth of something straight out of a fairytale.

Also at the front of the house, is a large bay window where her grandmother, Emily used to grow many of her plants.

Elizabeth always admired her grandmother's green thumb and cursed that she did not inherit her uncanny ability to help plants thrive and nurse the sick ones back to health.

On the right hand side of the house, stands the detached one car garage that housed the Wicks' light blue Cadillac.

As Elizabeth peered into the window of the garage door, she could see that the old "boat of a car" was still there waiting to take its next trip to the local market.

When Elizabeth stepped out in the backyard, she felt like no time had passed between her childhood and now. The backyard had stayed almost exactly the same.

The spacious yard still had a large swing that both Albert and Emily would spend many long evenings swinging quietly and enjoying each others' company.

The picnic table that Albert and his son Ted had made, many years ago, still stands next to the ancient gas grill that would cook up some of the best burgers and hot dogs in the county.

The three large Maple trees that Elizabeth and her best friend Noah would climb during the summer, are still standing proud almost like guardians of the yard.

In the right back corner of the lot, Albert's garden shed sits and waits to be opened for the season right next to the garden bed that her grandfather had cared for for many years.

At the back of the shed Elizabeth sees the garbage cans that her grandfather was tending to when he had his heart attack.

She stood there for a long time wondering what his last moments were like, and what he thought about, when she heard a voice behind her.

"Your grandfather passed on to the other side as a happy man," said the voice.

When Elizabeth turned around, she saw her grandparents' neighbor and dear friend Dolly Madison standing behind her.

Dolly was all decked out in a fuschia colored, velor jogging suit with bright green stripes running down the sides. Her leopard printed sunglasses gleamed in the sunlight, while her short and tightly curled blonde hair gave her an almost angelic appearance in the sunlight.

1 comment:

Kristina said...

thanks for following me. I love reading a good book and can't wait for yours, it sounds like a great story.