A few years ago I unpacked a box I’d been carrying around from house to house as my life changed from marriage to widow to marriage to widow again. That box contained the letters and journals from my courtship and early years with Aldon Duane Bell, the father of my four daughters. I had always imagined I would write a memoir about those courtship days in the mid-50s when the dashing young man recently back from Oxford turned up in my American History classroom in Muskogee Central High School Oklahoma as my history teacher.
I have written over 100,000 words of memoir. None of those words suit me. So I decided to learn the craft of writing fiction. The difference between memoir and fiction is the topic for another post. My intention was to create the kind of page-turning story from my life material anyone would enjoy.
Scott Driscoll at the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education Dept. is an exacting teacher of Fiction Writing. I have learned about character, desire, quest, inciting incident, increased risk, crisis moment and transformation. I’ve tried my hand at creating a good short story.
Every story I’ve written springs from the well of my own experiences and has required research to flesh out the details where memory is limited or non-existent. To make the stories follow a dramatic arc with increased risk, I have turned them into fiction.
My friends and family have been tolerant of my pre-occupation with writing, have forgiven my absence at events and have been waiting for something to read from all this effort.
These pages will contain snippets of research to tantalize you and, once I am done polishing and polishing some more, a paragraph or two from the stories themselves.
It will be my pleasure. I hope it will please you, as well.