I mentioned in my Smile Generators that the idea of writing a novel makes me smile. Margaret, a published author and blogger said I needed to just write it. Well, my confessions have come back to haunt me.
When I was 13, I wrote about 10 to 12 pages of a novel. I can’t remember what it was about but I recall it was titled, ‘The Undone’. I’ve always been cheesy with titles.
This is my earliest memory of actually doing anything about my enormous burden to tell a story, a story that I think will explain the otherwise unexplainable, enable people walk my walk.
Imagine my surprise when my mother posted 32 pages of a book to me. I don’t remember writing it, it must have been my inner-self going off on a tangent, desperate to unload some of my deepest texts… I stared at the pieces of paper in disbelief. It was about my experience in a foreign school. I had recorded how people treated me, how I felt and my observations about other cultures. It was neatly written, a consistent handwriting as though I had written it all in one go with an aim and with an ending in mind. As I read through it, I felt the heat of tears come to my eyes. The story I was writing was true. I had tried to disguise the names but I remembered the scenes, some dating back to 1991. I couldn’t believe that I had captured these moments on paper. I glanced up at the top of the first paper- No title, just a date- 21 November 1995. I tried to remember what I was doing on that day, how I was feeling, where I got the energy and drive from. My memory is not as good as it used to be.
My DH observed me as I flipped through the papers frantically, alarmed at this 1995 discovery. I took a deep breath and looked up at him. He was smiling.
“I’m going to have to write this damn novel, aren’t I?”
He nodded and touched my left cheek then said, “Your mum certainly thought these pages were worth saving…” He left the sentence hanging.
Oh my God.