I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The book in the little black box

This small suitcase is similar to the little black makeup case which held my mother's manuscript for over twenty-five years. It was  discovered in my attic on the eight anniversary of her death, two days ago. Back up a post or two, and I explain why I am writing about my mother's lost and forgotten novel.

I stayed up late last night reading the first five chapters. Actually I read the first three, and skimmed four and five, because I was so tired.

Mom was smart, she wrote about what she knew; what it is like to teeter on the edge of old age. Though the book is seriously overwritten, and some of the language is antiquated, it has a wonderful sense of place. The town, I know, the Inn, I heard about growing up. She reached into her past, and drawing from those rich  images, she made them better - then I remember from her telling, when I was little. We all do that I think.

It didn’t take long for me to slip into that magical place a reader goes when they can’t wait to see what happens.

These are my words:
Tobias is old, infirm, and alone. He is awash in guilt because he was the driver, in the crash which killed his beloved Carrie. Many nights he relives the horror when he dreams about the accident and is left adrift in sorrow. At the end of chapter one the old man is resting in the shadows of his front porch after one of his dreams. He is tired, very sad and he feels a dull ache in his chest which he knows is more than a broken heart. It is late, the neighborhood is quiet, except for the sound of a police siren far away.

These are her words:
He leaned against the railing with one hand; the other placed on his right hip for balance, as he listened to the blatant clangor pierce the midnight silence and increase in volume as it headed toward him. The glare of headlights swept the corner of Oak St. as the car swerved and careened madly in an effort to hold the road. It rapidly approached the house. It was not a police car because it had no flashing lights. All at once the car was directly in front of the house. The rear door opened and something fell or was shoved from the backseat of the car. The object fell to the sidewalk and rolled onto the walkway leading into the front yard.

In my words, not rewriting but telling you what kept me up to read.
Tobias struggles to physically bring the object into his home and up to his bedroom. That struggle, which my mother describes in excruciating detail, ends the life of the old man. The object, which he succeeds in getting to his room, rolls under the bed just as Tobias dies. As the reader I wanted to know what was in that bag under the bed, as the writer’s daughter, I do know, because she told me.

To be continued.


  1. Do you know how much I hate cliff hangers?

    1. Let me add that I THINK I know whats in the bag but I haven't yet discovered it in the writing. It would be like my mother to switch it up. Won't be able to get back to it until tonight, late, after work.