Writing what’s in my head
Despite my keen legal reasoning and writing, my business acumen, and my big, soft heart for dogs and animal welfare, my head is filled with curiosities and ideas. Oftentimes I see stories streaming through my mind complete with beginnings, middles, and ends. For me, it’s like watching a movie.
Lately, I’ve taken to writing down what I see. Many times, when I think about all the boring and mundane or even the odd and exciting things that happen in my life, I will mentally change one detail, and my imagination soars.
I’ve started taking my fiction writing seriously, as an adjunct to my creative non-fiction. A few years ago, on a lark, I entered my work into a competition. It was my story The Family Room, which I wrote about my 13-year-old self, which was when I learned that my mom was going to die. It was long-listed, which was enough for me at that time. Now, I feel a pull to send more of my fiction and creative non-fiction into the world.
Here’s the opening of The Family Room:
I’m going to tell you something. Don’t believe anyone who says that walls are made out of just gyproc and plaster and paint. They either don’t know, or can’t face, the truth. I can tell you this for sure. Walls have ears that hear the secrets you’re trying to hide. They listen for words muttered in anger, promises sworn then forgotten, deals made with God. They have eyes that see what you do when you think no one is watching. They peer into the nooks and crannies of your life, and if they’re having a good day, they can read your thoughts. Walls have tongues that reach out and lick the air, tasting jealousy or anger or fear. And back then, when I was small, the walls in our family room were particular to the flavour of this young girl’s mind.