Saturday, November 5, 2011

Like a Walk in the Park

by guest Janet Bolin

We lived on a hill, so although leaving home was all downhill, homecoming was the proverbial uphill battle. Maybe it was only a mile, but my legs were short. Starting out, the journey seemed impossible. So what did I do? Run?

Nope. To ignore that sense of a huge, invisible wall holding me back from ever reaching home, I made up games. If I passed that tree before the truck behind me reached the intersection, aliens couldn’t pick me up in their space ship.

If I kicked a pebble all the way home, I could keep it. Since part of my trip involved crossing bridges on wooden sidewalks with gaps between and beside the planks, I usually lost the pebble. Also, I had to stop every few feet and peer over the railing. The bottom of the valley was very far below me. I needed to examine the sky for those space ships, too.

Beyond the bridges, I had to stomp on every ice-covered puddle. Hearing the ice break and seeing those glass-like slices slithering away was very satisfying. Flinging icy water in over the tops of my boots—well, that couldn’t be helped, could it?

I never started running until I was almost home. Tired and relieved, I burst into the house, threw off my coat, mitts, and sopping boots, and joined the family.

It’s kind of like writing a book. Starting out, that blank screen is daunting. I’m sure I’ll never be able to push past that huge, invisible wall. So I make up rules, race the trucks, kick a few pebbles, peer into various abysses, dodge aliens, and break some ice.

And then, finally, I’m hurtling toward the end. I finish that first draft. I’m exhausted, relieved, a little surprised, and ready to re-join the human race—for a few hours, that is, until I begin the rewrites...

What do you do to make your journeys more interesting and (we hope) easier?


Janet Bolin loves sewing, machine embroidery, knitting, and every sort of fiber art she can think of, but lives too far from stores that sell the supplies she needs, so she invented the Threadville Mystery Series.

Read excerpts from Dire Threads (in stores now) and Threaded for Trouble (coming in June, 2012.)

Connect with Janet on facebook and twitter.


Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Janet, what an absolutely terrific, suspenseful opener to your post! It's a perfect example of how to write a guest blog when your book is coming out without committing BSP. Looking forward to DIRE THREADS!

Janet Bolin said...

Thanks, Liz. There's something about this time of year that encourages me to dawdle.

Krista said...

You had a wonderful imagination as a child. No wonder your books take interesting twists and turns!

~ Krista

Janet Bolin said...

Thanks, Krista! I was really good at terrifying myself. (And others--aaaack.)

Avery Aames said...

Janet, I see the very imaginative mind that is at work. I also see a great procrastinator! LOL. (Hm, let's see, if those alien space ships pick me up, I won't have to do homework.) You obviously are having a ton of fun on the journey. Good for you.

~Avery aka Daryl

Janet Bolin said...

Avery wrote: (Hm, let's see, if those alien space ships pick me up, I won't have to do homework.) How did you know, Avery? Hee hee.

Sheila said...

Glad to see you here, Janet!

When I was in 6th and 7th grade, I perfected walking home (less than a mile) while reading. Probably so I could ignore my annoying younger sister. Your way sounds like more fun!

Janet Bolin said...

Eeek, Sheila, if I'd read, I would probably have fallen off one of those bridges. Or been abducted by aliens.

Sandra Parshall said...

I used to read while walking home from the library with a huge stack of books. Couldn't wait until I got home.

Janet, it's great to have you on PDD.

Janet Bolin said...

Sandy, thanks. It's great to be here. If I had a huge stack of library books, I ran. And it was all uphill. We lived near Pittsburgh.

Norma Huss said...

Oh, I remember those walks up a hill after school, especially the time an older neighbor child told me the lady walking behind us was a witch. And she kept coming aftr me, faster and faster. Oh, was my heart beating when I got home.

And oh, even at the age of 7, did I ever realize I'd been tricked when the witch visited my mother and apologized for not being able to catch up to me on my way home.

(There must be a story there somewhere!)

Janet Bolin said...

Norma, that's hilarious! Great story.

Patg said...

Sandy, I too used to read walking home. One day, a kid on a bike--neither one of us paying attention to where we were going--hit me. I've never been able to remember what happened right after that. I know I was eventually home.
Do You think I ever really got up from that incident?
Well, it's not 'that' long after Halloween. :)