Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving--And Be Careful What You Write

Thanksgiving this year will be a tiny turkey and regular additions masquerading as a traditional dinner. We will then use the leftovers for a picnic on Friday when we drive to the west coast of Florida, four hours southwest of Ormond Beach. With luck we can find a perfect picnic spot en route.

We’ll not be visiting relatives, but travelling to the Matlacha Author Days at Pine Island. We’ll speak about our books and writing to the admiring hordes of visitors that will undoubtedly flood the area once they hear we shall be there. That’s the hope and plan, anyway. The stage and tents will be shared with fifty-eight other outstanding authors.

So, this blog is not about Thanksgiving, a day when we all give thanks for a variety of reasons: surviving another year to be with our families, surviving another year when we didn’t have to be with our families, having good health, recovering good health, staying out of jail, meeting new friends...but I digress.
This blog is about being careful what you write about.

Last year I began a sequel to The Prince of Keegan Bay. The main character, Doll, decides to move out of her manufactured home (read: trailer) park and into a real house. Using many incidents from our own experience the year before, I gave Doll a hard time with the purchase, included her friends from Keegan Bay Park, and used composite characters drawn from those involved in selling us the house to complicate every stage of the sale. Completely fictionalized you understand, I wrote away, creating problems from my imagination and, hopefully, sufficiently masking some of the real sale issues.

I wanted to make Doll somewhat helpless so she would have to be more dependent on her friends from the park. When she went to the homeowner’s garage sale one Saturday afternoon, I complicated her life by having her trip over an electrical wire. After a visit to the emergency room, she returned in a wheel chair with her left leg in a medical boot. Diagnosis: sprained ankle.

After that scene had been read by my critique group and received their approval and laughter, I continued with the story. Meanwhile, we actually had a heavy rain (tropical storm). Water flooded under the door of our recently purchased house and warped our brand new wood floor. It buckled so badly, I placed chairs over the bad spot to remind me of the bump. It remained that way for weeks until the insurance company got around to denying our claim. Anyway, during that time I walked into the living room one morning, completely forgot about the floor and stepped between two of the chairs – hurt my foot–but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention until it continued to hurt and swell.

After a visit to the doctor, diagnosis: broken metatarsal in left foot. Sent home in a medical boot.
One reason we bought the house was the swimming pool. It nestles in the L between the sitting room and the bedrooms, all of which have sliding glass doors opening to it. The accident happened in May about three days after my first swim–having waited for the water to warm sufficiently. The boot and taping remained in place until October. I swam one day and then the rains came, cooling the water and ending the swimming season for the year.

From now on, should there be further books in the Blender’s series, Doll will remain upright and healthy! I’ll have to injure other characters and hope my friends remain safe.

Veronica Helen Hart (Ronnie) is an award winning author. Her latest novel, Elena, The Girl with the Piano, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC awards for historical fiction. Her other books have won Royal Palm Literary Awards and Escape from Iran was also a quarter finalist in the ABNA competition. She makes her home in Ormond Beach, Florida with her husband, Bob, a veterinarian/author. 


Anonymous said...

When do the golden years get golden. Now that I hit sixty my body's not mine anymore. Year of cancer, then leg problems, next back issues from the chemo, crap old age is hard.


Unknown said...

Ronnie have a great time on Pine Island. I so wanted to do this event but am in NJ until next week. Wishing you fabulous weather!

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Thank you, Ceci!

Liz Fountain said...

Life imitates art, huh? Be careful out there, and careful what you write! Enjoy Pine Island!