The Stories

Willow DuskLong before I realized I wanted to be a writer, I loved stories. Before I learned to read, some of my favorite childhood memories are the times when my Mom would tell me a story.

I’m not talking about fairy tells, although there were certainly some of those. I wanted to hear true life experiences that happened to my parents, grandparents, and other family members.

My mom, who was forty-two when I was born, grew up during the Great Depression. She and my father married before the days of World War II. I loved hearing things that took place during those times.

However, the ones that intrigued me most were those of suspense and mystery. Stories such as the time when Mom spotted a man hiding in the weeds of a vacant lot next door. The story of an ancestor who worked on a plantation and a time when bloodhounds came into his room one night. Or the time when Mom and Dad moved to a house only to learn later than gangsters had been using it for a hideout.

In and of themselves, many of these events wouldn’t interest most people. But in my mind, I began to ask questions: “Why was the man hiding in the weeds? Was he planning to attack Mom or others in the neighborhood?

Why did the bloodhounds come into my ancestor’s room? No doubt, they were on the trail of someone and that person had been in the room.

I imagined all kinds of things about the gangsters.

Later, when I began reading, my favorite genre was a mystery or suspense. Today, when I read or hear an interesting news story, I often think, “What if…” or “Suppose…”

When I decided to sign up for CampNaNoWriMo, I had a story idea that reflected many of my “life stories” that I share here. Living a simple life, strong family bonds, and faith are important to me. However, when I began to outline my idea, something wasn’t “clicking.”

A few years ago, I had an idea for a suspense novel. I searched my archive documents and found the outline and character sketches. I realize the time to write it is now.

It is about life. It has elements of faith. It is set in a small town. The family bonds? Well, you’ll have to stick around a few months for the finished piece.

In the meantime, be sure to join me Friday for a little suspense and this month’s edition of First Friday Fiction.

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