Category Archives: first draft

writing myself alive, take two

elegant Maggie 2I write fiction as well as memoir, and just completed the first draft of a novel titled Call Her Home. There are four point-of-view characters, and one of them is a dog.

The process of envisioning and birthing a fictional story is another way I write myself alive. Every aspect of the story is born out of who I am, formed from all the experiences I’ve undergone.

I write about disability because of raising my beautiful, differently-abled son. I chose an Irish wolfhound/Scottish deerhound mix for my character because I’ve lived in harmony with both of those splendid breeds.Their natures are so familiar to me. I write about human/dog communication because I’ve felt since I was a toddler that my dogs could communicate telepathically, but somehow I’ve lost the capacity. So I’m driven to imagine what that might be like.

My male protagonist, I realized a few weeks ago is, in psychologist C. G. Jung’s words, my animus. The main female character has qualities of both myself and my mother, but is qualitatively different from both of us. The eleven-year-old girl is the daughter I never had.

I write about car accidents because I’ve had two serious ones: in the first, about thirty years ago, my little Red Fiesta ended up on its passenger side. Last year, my Prius landed on its roof–due to a texter–the car reduced from an efficient mode of travel to a dead beetle. Miraculously, no one suffered severe injury in either accident. I chose Oregon for the story’s setting because I lived in Eugene for twenty years, and traveled a few times to teach in Bend.

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