Now that I’m more than half way through What Makes A Family, I FINALLY feel as if I know these characters. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m always very hesitant to talk about the book I’m working on. I just feel as if I need to share the best part of my story, of the characters, with the written page. It’s almost as if some of the life of the telling of the tale is lost each time I talk about them. So I don’t. But now that I’ve gotten to know these characters, I find that I’m getting attached to them. I hear little bits of conversation between the characters when I’m driving my car or vacuuming. And sometimes it’s not even conversation I can include in the book. But it’s very exciting to have these people coming alive in my head. The things they say, the things they do, surprise me. I know that sounds bizarre, after all, I’m the one creating these characters, but they really do take on a life of their own. I was writing a scene the other day and the soon-to-be-matriarch-of-the-family, Birdie, was asked to step outside, by her husband, to talk about a serious family problem. (You’re not going to believe who’s been cut out of Granny’s will.) And Birdie is so nervous, because she’s not used to being consulted in family matters, that she takes a cabbage with her. And holds on to this cabbage for dear life through the entire conversation. It was so sad and so funny at the same time that I’m still chuckling days later.
I love it when I make myself laugh.