Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The untitled

For some time I have kicked around the idea of writing a fiction novel. Not really for the sole purpose of getting published, more so to see if I could actually do it. If I could actually write something of that volume and have it make sense and keep a readers interest.

I love writing, but often struggle with what to write about, so the problem for a long time was what an idea. I didn't have clue 1 what this "novel" should be about.

Below is my current idea. A novel told from a male perspective about a man, who after the death of his mother, struggles to grasp reality, cuts ties, leaves town, ventures half way across the country, is haunted by memories of his mother and then realize his life is missing the one thing he was running from; family.

I thought I would put a section of what I've written so far and see what you think. Boring, bland, unoriginal, read-it-all-before? Let me know! I really, truly would love to hear what you think!

It’s at Christmas time that I miss home the most. Probably because Christmas time always reminds me of my mother.

The smells, the sounds, how the tree lit up the darkened living room, the way mom would make everyone sit, nestled together on the sofa, quietly listening to the Garth Brooks Christmas CD she loved so much over and over again, all while “appreciating” the soft glow of about 25 strands of multi-colored Christmas lights on a 7ft tree. It was a miracle every year the tree didn’t go up in a ball of flames. She would tell us spending moments like these as a family brought us closer together and we should feel blessed.

For my brother Parker, and me, we were close enough sitting next to each other on the sofa. It would take an immense amount of self restraint not to poke, prod or whack the back of each other’s heads.

But my favorite memory of my mother at Christmas was her cookies.

My mother would spend an entire day baking, and rolling and pressing, and decorating. She would make pies, and cakes and cookies and candy. All the while my father, a notorious cookie hound, would wait patiently for the first batch of cookies to be ready. He’d find reasons to walk by the kitchen to check on their status. He’d peer around the corner of the hallway and look for a batch cooling on the table. Then he’d wait until her back was turned, cautiously sneak into the dining room and pluck a cookie off the wax paper. The crinkle of the paper would always give away his position and my mother would come round the corner covered in flower and shoo him away.

Spending an entire day baking required proper planning. So she would gear up for the “great day” about a week before. She’d start washing her cookie sheets and cooling racks and checking her pantry inventory. She’d alphabetize her recipe cards, pulling out new cookie recipes she wanted to try. The night before she’d bundle us kids up and load us into the car for a trip to the grocery store for supplies.

She’d diligently write down every item that needed purchased, she was meticulous like that. Parker and I always wanted to help so we would each get our own lists of items she needed. We’d make a contest out of who could complete their list first, running up and down the aisles, grabbing bags of sugar, cans of condensed milk, and jars of peanut butter as we rushed by. We’d lap back around to the cart and deposit our items when our arms got too full for one more item.

I was 21 when my mother passed away in her sleep.

My aunt called at 8 the next morning. The phone rang while I was dressing for my morning class. I heard her words, my mouth fell open, and words failed to form. The phone dropped to the floor.

Aneurysm; the doctors would later tell us. No way could anyone have seen this coming. The abruptness of their declaration felt cold, impersonal. As if to say her death was inconsequential to them.


Julie September 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM  

Definitely go for it! I really like what you have so far. What a great goal! I wish I had that kind of motivation. :o) Good luck!

Danica September 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

I couldn't finish reading it because I'm at work and already crying. It made me miss my mom so much.


I think you should do it!!!! I would love to read it when it's finished.

Good luck!

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