Another post from my crashed blog at free fringes.
This one is from December 2011. Jordan was 16, Jon Alex was 10; now 3, Ehren was 20 months.
The strangest urge to write
But then I took another sip of my coffee, and the feeling passed.
My confidence as a short story writer took a knock-out punch about six years ago, and I never recovered.
Tonight, sitting on my bed after a day of holiday shopping and while watching Care Bears to the Rescue, a few characters tried to form on my brain, and I briefly considered firing up MS Word. Then I remembered I hate Word, I’m too lazy to unearth my writing journal and, even before they were more than a speck in my eye, I felt contemptuous of my characters. Jealous. Of their singlehood, their personhood, their ability to travel and be about town in a way I never will be again.
No need to create someone I’d sooner kill in a fit of pique than write about empathetically, so I instead turned up Care Bears then opened up this blog to write about these characters I will never write.
When I was in high school, I wrote a story about some tragic betrayal I’d experienced, and it was quite the bestseller at Young Life camp, all 70 pages of loose notebook paper of it. One of the main characters was named Jordan. Coincidentally, I gave birth to a Jordan 12 years later.
Before Jordan was born (the daughter, not the character), I worked for years on a story about something-or-other involving somebody-or-other. I killed the main character. His best friend and possible gay lover had an undiagnosed mental illness and, although, not a violent person, mistook Troy, the main character, for an intruder during one of his mental episodes. Troy’s older brother was named Evan, which is Jon Alex’s first name.
I never got around to writing a story with a character named Ehren. Third kids always get the shaft.
I have a feeling one of my children in his or her acceptance speech for a prestigious award later on in life will acknowledge both humble beginnings and a writer mother who inspired in all of her children great things. The audience will tear up as whichever kid it is points at the camera as I’m watching from my deathbed in the nursing home and promises: this award is for you, Mom.
And my life will become known in that instant as the genetic impetus for someone else’s awesomeness. Like Brad Pitt’s parents.
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