It may appear to be a simple act to write fiction.
My friends do that.
Create a name. Like Hiram Wheelfinder.
Have the character who goes with that name do any old thing.
Such as sell billboard space by day and construct sculptures from chewing gum wrappers by night.
And send that character anywhere in the world.
Or, maybe you make up a new universe for your character to inhabit.
Such as Ortung -Bonnet, the planet where Hiram Wheelfinder was born.
Does that sound easier than running into a rabbit during a stroll in a garden?
In a Garden
I was beguiled by a rabbit recently.
This bun-bun appeared to my hubby & me this month.
We were at Morikami
Museum and Japanese Gardens in Florida.
It ran across our drizzly path.
Then a littler further along, we found it.
Waiting just for us slowpokes.
And then it loped off ahead of us again.
And then it did this again.
There was a lot to see at the gardens.
The real, live bun-bun is what I think of first.
Also this summer, seated in an archives, whilst
wearing white gloves that weren’t mine,
I opened an envelope.
It revealed a tiny box.
And in the box was an old
treasure that I was lucky to examine
as part of the research I’m completing
for a children’s illustrated biography of
an unusual sea-going man.
As much of a snoozer
as this scene seems, I have to say it was also
exciting, in a way that only a person intent on
scouting a specific site location with information
from old maps, hundreds of miles away from
known home territory, can feel.
I happened upon the deer in a northern park.
She was joined by a dog.
The location where I came up her & also the surprise of the deer herself,
each relate to other non-fiction research for
another illustrated biography for students,
about a woman of great talent.
Writers know that creating good fiction is a
rough and tumble practice.
I suspected that during the many headlines
of my news-writing days.
But non-fiction work keeps me hoppin’ too.
Real places, real stories
During a 21-day summer road trip that luckily also included
down time for a seaside family wedding & to
visit old newsroom pals & to sightsee in Boston
with our college daughter, I chased leads, had some ideas
dashed & returned home to catalog a trove of good materials,
in order to get on with writing about real
people & their real stories for children.
And when I thought that
I would see my way back soon, to the kind of work that produces an
ol’ Hiram Wheelfinder (not his real name), or an MFA in
children’s literature, the paperwork that as of this summer
I now have in my tool kit,
my hubby & unexpectedly I meet a garden bun-bun &
spend time with the story of a very real experiment,
the Yamato Colony of Florida.
Real places, real stories,
mesmerizing me some more.