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I am home.

When my husband and I found our house on this street in the best little riverside village we didn’t even know existed, that was it: we were home.

However, there’s more than one way to go home; just as there are so many wonderful and varied definitions of what home means to different people. Check out Christine’s take on this week’s Gin & Lemonade With a Twist writing prompt, Home, at I’m Sick and So Are You: “My Body is My Home.” And another blogger friend posits home as a feeling.

What is home to you?

Ever get olfactory déjà vu, and you think: this place smells like home? Or, a person’s accent takes your mind to the street where you grew up? Or the way a loved one squeezes your knee or tucks your hair behind your ear ignites your primitive brain and takes you there, wherever that is, home.

I write fiction to get my characters–and by extension me–home.

I generally start writing when I have that first, budding image of my main character. Before I sit down to write, I feel a sense of unease, even anxiety, rising as I begin to imagine this character’s problem. (There has to be a problem.) Sometimes, I’ll also imagine the final image, problem righted, character home (if not in geography, in body or mind or spirit.)

Between the beginning image and the end is the journey–home.

Wow, when I write it out like this, it sounds simple. (It’s not simple.) But maybe thinking about the fiction-writing process in this way can ease the actual writing part just a little bit, whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or not.

And here’s a writing advice gem in the The Guardian from an author with quite a few books under her belt, Kate Pullinger. So, she’s reached home a lot. This quote speaks to so many aspects of my life, really:

Writing is a kind of confidence trick – you have to con yourself into thinking you can do it, into thinking that what you are writing is the Real McCoy.

Back at it…

I hope you’ll join in.

Handy links:

Lorna’s Gin & Lemonade With a Twist writing prompt for the week: Home.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated (and sane).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Writing to find the way home

    1. I hope so–we could be neighbors! Growing up near Lake Erie, living near the water meant beaches and swimming. Being near the Bay does not mean swimming so much as boating, and really sailing, which I don’t know how to do (nor am I in the tax bracket to afford it). I’m determined to actually get out on the water more next spring and summer–now that we have an 8-foot rowboat with a little sail. It’ll be an initiation for my whole family. The views are great here, but I want to really take advantage of where we are. When my boys were little we lived in Frederick Co. and had all kind of access to great hiking (which we never did, because of having toddlers.) Sometimes, I need to remind myself to live like a tourist in my own place. Thanks for checking out my post, and sorry for the rambling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve also considered trying to convince my wife to move to Frederick. I’m pretty sure we will stay where we are. I’m with you on trying to live like a tourist here. I don’t take enough advantage of everything we have.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You do make writing fiction sound simple here. I wish it were so, ha! No, “home” is a great analogy for writing a story because that’s how you want your readers to feel at the culmination of a book. There’s nothing worse (well, to me) when you end a book and feel that something was not missing or not finished – doesn’t feel like home. What a great post, and enjoy the water. There’s nothing better than sitting and looking over the water – such a calming and serene feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point about book endings! Whether you call it closure or denouement, I think a good book needs to end in the right place in the right way (and there are many right ways). Readers don’t always want happy endings, but yes, the writer needs to make it home. Thank you for commenting. It’ll give me a lot to think about when I get closer to my manuscript’s natural ending (whenever that might be!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Terrific post. Whenever my wife and I are in Paris, and that’s a fair amount, we always feel “home.” Everything about the city, the people, the architecture, the food…you get the idea…we also feel that way when we look at the ocean…you know: “that feeling”

    Liked by 1 person

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