It is looking like full-blown autumn here, inside and out. The rain set in yesterday…last night...and more is coming. This morning it was so dark I overslept for me. The deck was wet and the air rested at a damp 49 degrees. While I brewed the tea, Miss Biscuit looked at me forlornly. “Yes, I know, our tea time is not the same inside.”
This week I have baked apples, baked beans, bake a pie (that we should not have), hungered for cookies, and have recipes laid out for soup. The oven is on more now. I feel my insides pulling inwardly like overdone custard pulling away from the pan sides. I shrivel a little in this weather knowing winter will come; my body knows what is coming and preparing. No, not yet please!
It does feel like writing weather though. I have sticky notes all over my desk as scenes and conversations come to my mind. No time to write them at moment what with fighting Social Security (a story you do not want to hear!) and other things happening. However, I want to save these glimpses of story for dark winter mornings when maybe I can hammer them out on the keyboard before dog and man arise each day.
Yesterday, my cousin came through town and spent many hours with us. It has been a couple of years since I saw him last, but before that it was decades. Slightly younger than I, he shared my family on Dad’s side. For long while we only lived a block apart. Then I married and moved away while he joined the Air Force during the Vietnam years and traveled the world.
Of course, our favorite subject to hash out is our shared and often dysfunctional family. Now we are old enough to piece together the scenes and events of our childhood, seeing them from a distance of what we hope is fairness and wisdom. We are now at an age where it is comforting to know someone who knows us from our past, who can share memories. I think there are lots of seeds for story from my family!
I have been searching my family history hunting answers for what makes us who we are. Although I still hunger for answers I have not found yet, I have found good writing topics in these people I never met. That is what I like about writing fiction. I can have a seed or an experience or even just a feeling from my life, and if I don’t know all the facts, why I just make them up! Sadly I can’t share most of these particular family inspired stories with my family because while they are fiction, people will most assuredly recognize themselves…and not be happy!
So when you write about family inspired events, how honest do you tell the story? How do you deal with your family’s response to your writing? Are they happy with your tales…or do they even know?