In JM’s initial blog entry, I am the one peering out of car windows and into home windows, making up stories about the people inside. I am wondering what their hopes and dreams are. I am making up stories about where they will be going tomorrow or about the city from which they have just returned.
Usually I was in the car with my dad. My dad worked two jobs so most of our time together and most of the parenting he did (and, of course, in those days no one talked about parenting at all), was done while doing errands or being driven to school or a friend’s home. I would ask him, “Did you see that man and woman in the garden, Dad? Did you see how they were talking, like they were mad at each other? I think…,” and I would tell him a long, rambling story.
Now as far as I know, my dad’s seafaring adventures were limited to a rowboat on Lake Erie, but he would usually nod approvingly, and say, “That’s a darn fine yarn. You should write it down.”
When he would come home from work, I would fly down the driveway to say hello, to get a kiss and tell him what I had been working on, and he would nod solemnly and say, “That’s a fine yarn too. Did you write it down?”
Then, one Saturday, he built a tree house and said it was my writer’s retreat. With a new notebook and a garland of pencils, I entered my first office, my first retreat, my dad’s vote of confidence in my abilities.
This is part of why I write, and definitely why I encourage everyone here to keep writing. Get it on paper, capture those characters you create, love, and at times, despise. Tell their stories, even if they do things that you would rather they didn’t, even if they do things that you know will lead to their unhappiness. Get it on paper. Tell their stories, make up entire worlds of yesterday or tomorrow and I know it will be a darn good yarn.