Since I started writing I've been plagued by the question of how much of myself and my memories do or can I put into my stories. It's not that I put people I know into my stories, but there are bits and pieces of me and my experiences in each of my novels. In The Evolution of Janie I have it set in Montana and I can clearly remember a summer vacation we took and how tame the wildlife seemed, although I never ran across shape shifting humans. There was also a shopping scene with Janie and Justin that included some of Brandon's sage advice about buying multiple pairs of pants in the same style to reduce washing. Songbird however included far more personal memories, my dog Pepsi that died and the Rainbow song my Dad used to sing to me.
There are some pieces that are nearly inconsequential. I went to school with a boy named Jace and always liked his name. I haven't seen him since 9th grade and have no idea what kind of a person he is, but still the name was stuck in my head, same with Jacey. I visualized the park where Jace was shot as the playground at my elementary school. Yet others are far more significant and the events changed the way I viewed life and as I wrote about them I felt that surge of pain as I relived the moment. Jace's funeral scene was based on an a friend's funeral and the reaction her son, Seth had when faced with putting her to rest. Never will I forget the way he met my eyes and let out a sob as he realized his mother was truly gone.
As hard as that scene was to write, when I finished I realized that it was a moment I would never forget and that by putting it on paper, I've given my word to never forget them. Maybe all of these little things I add from myself are really just memories I'm scared of losing.
On my iPod:
Lover's in a Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn (BareNakedLadies version)