Below is an excerpt from Part 1 of the Broken Winged Buzzard Dreams series posted last winter which talks about how I first got started writing on The Cedar Tree, the last of many titles the manuscript wore over twenty+ years’ time.
I was a teen-ager when I first ventured into novel writing. My first attempt was set in the 1800’s and featured a protagonist named Rory. I forget his last name. He rode a big horse–black, I believe. His love interest was Kate.Once, I showed the first chapters of this masterpiece to my grandma, a voracious reader. She got a funny look on her face. I interpreted it as: You’re my granddaughter and I love you, but this is drivel and I don’t know quite how to tell you that.“Well…” was what Grandma said. “Just keep working on it.”I did for a while longer and I think it went something like this:Rory raced his freshly shod, big, black, shiny, deep chested Quarter Horse horse with four white socks and a blaze face up to the burning wooden cabin and slid to a sliding stop. He jumped off the saddle and ran quickly up to the door burning hotly, vowing to stake the devil who had done this to Kate onto an anthill of ants.“Help, Rory, you big, strong, very good looking man, you,” Kate cried feebly from inside the burning inferno somewhere.Oh, goodness! She was fading fast!“Kate, darlin’!” he cried out desperately. “Hold fast to our dreams, for if you die, they’re pretty much all out the window! Darlin’! Oh, and by the way, throw the kids out to me if they’re still with us…”I wasn’t much of a plotter and I don’t think he said that about the dreams, but y’all get the idea.Anyway, I always sketch my characters, but at that time I probably sketched as badly as I wrote. My sketch of Kate–and I confess this to my everlasting shame–I made behind a locked door and while looking into the bathroom mirror. She looked pretty good except for I could never get that one eye to look quite right.I imagined my sketch of Rory looked like Tom Selleck. (Not old Grampa Tom Selleck like he is now, but like he was in his Magnum PI days in the last century.)Possibly, he more closely resembled Barney Fife.But the point is, I can’t check up on Rory, now, because at some point, in a fit of self-disgust, I threw him, and his story, and my dream into the trash. And I wish I hadn’t now, because that story would be like a blogging gold mine. We could have laughed hysterically for many posts…
Over the next post or two, I’ll try to continue the continuing saga of how The Cedar Tree wormed its way out of my brains and into a book cover. As the Starburst commercial in the original post illustrates, I completely understand if that bores you to death.
Until next time, thanks so much for reading and God bless all y’all while you enjoy Dailey and Vincent doin’ another of my favorites, By The Mark.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ‘em.