Writing a book is time consuming, brain wilting and exciting. I love the feeling of creating people and having them walk in my mind like fully clothed ghosts while I change their faces, clothing and personal characteristics at whim! These ghostly figures wander through scenes, whisper words, change their minds, laugh, cry and then wisp away in the mist. The brain is a crazy place.
Then I create a gridwork, a frame for my thoughts that has time and place fixed where I hang the characters I have created. This group of characters are stuck in 1971 wearing tie-dyed tee-shirts and bell-bottomed jeans. I chose a time when women were no longer wearing granny dresses but avoided the Mod Squad looks. I remember the innocence and the gullibility of being eighteen but now I have the grit and grime of forty-four years of living to dig through. They are perpetually living at the Linger Inn and Hagie’s Store on Lake Makwa in northern Wisconsin. That was the year that the Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin began as an idea.
I love being older and writing from that point of view. I can empathize with all the characters except for Sven and Elin but they passed away and don’t talk much in the book. I try to remember my mom when she was my age but she would be 104 by now. My dad surprised me by being 111 years old this year! I remember what they said and how they viewed certain events and I try to incorporate that into my writing.
I am looking forward to writing “Done Running” – the next book in Jewell Johnson’s life.