Saturday, April 10, 2010

Writing With Abandon

One of the best things about keeping a journal is being able to look back at it from time to time. Now, as Growing Up Ivy moves down the production line at the publisher's, from copy edit to design, I read an entry that I made two years ago in my journal.

I had just started some early scribbles toward a new book, and I was working from the angle of the child I'd heard about who spent her summers with her peddler father, living in a horse-drawn caravan. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this was where the inspiration for  Growing Up Ivy came from. Here is that journal entry: 

I want this next book to be brave and daring. I want to write with abandon, to tell a fantastic story without letting my inner editor loose too early. I have a picture in my head of a girl and her mother escaping out the window of their room as the landlord hammers on the door. The mother is footloose, irresponsible, dreaming of being on the stage. The child thinks that everyone lives this way -- fleeing angry landlords, eating in diners, moving from one rooming house to the next, and attending school when it suits her.

Whether or not this will be part of what I'm calling the "caravan story" remains to be seen. But this new creation is taking me along on it's own course. I don't know where or when it will end.

I remember telling the others in our writing group that the book, in its early stages, was writing itself. I stood back and let it go.

In the end, the two parts of the story did come together. Ivy's mother, Frannie, is the would-be actress who abandons the child, and her rescuer is her father, Alva, who takes Ivy with him in the caravan for the summer.

1 comment:

Willow said...

This story sounds like so much fun!