Sunday, January 13, 2008

Santa Barbara, teens and golf...

Santa Barbara is the setting of my latest novel, What Guys Want (working title). It tells the story of Ainsley, who is desperately trying to get out from under her disgraced golf phenom sister's shadow. The fun thing is that it's based in Santa Barbara, featuring courses I've played on and schools my kids attend (or will attend Dos Pueblos!).

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.


  1. I've found that when I write from a place of emotion, my writing is better for it.

    High school memories can be quite interesting, but the fact you can still remember the will make you that much better at capturing the attention of your readers.

    Stay cool, have fun with this, and keep on writing. Good luck!

  2. Thanks, Vivian! High far in the past but still so fresh!


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