Originally based on my junior high diary while growing up in Prince Edward island, the novel has been somewhat difficult to envision. When writing about golf as a teen, my memory bank thinks summer. In California, golf means any time of the year. Writing about the winter carnival dance, my memory serves up a slice of slush-filled mules instead of open-toes sandals.
So why didn't I make PEI the setting? It has something to do with being too familiar and unless I want to make an historical fiction novel of growing up in the 70's, I needed a little distance. Already, the first draft has left me weeping in places. Grade nine and ten were painful years for me, filled with lots of anguish over friends and boys. Remembering some of the events left me scrambling. Did it really happen the way my diary said it did? Could that really have happened to me?
At times, I've had to stop because the memories left me feeling a bit down. And any of you who know me, know that's not a desired state of being for me. I'm all about capturing the joy in life, right? Well, this story has alot of that but lots of anguish, too. I'm really loving the creative, totally organic nature of writing a first draft. There's nothing you can do wrong. Just write and see where the characters take you. fun.