The Book I Want to Write

Suddenly, there are people everywhere and I’m wrapped in a towel, sitting on a bench while Laura sobs next to me. I vaguely remember calling the police. Or maybe I called Theo – I don’t remember. I feel like I’ve just come out of surgery and the last hour of my life is lost. 

Theo’s there, sitting with us and talking to the police so we don’t have to. Officers lift the bodies from the pool, and I know for sure it’s them. Mom and Dad. Laura sobs harder.

But it’s so surreal that I feel it must be an elaborate prank. Less than an hour ago our parents were, to our knowledge, asleep in their room with the door shut, safe and sound. And it feels so logical that they should still be there, I’m tempted to leave this suddenly bustling back yard to go check on them upstairs, to make sure they’re still dreaming peacefully. 

But of course, they’re not in bed. They’re in body bags now, going to sleep at the morgue.

At least I know they’re dreaming peacefully.

Hey all! I hope your week is going well. This last week of August (!) is bustling by beautifully, with sunny blue skies and balmy cool breezes.

I’ve been mostly failing at the 20 Minute Writing Challenge, but that’s okay. I got several days of really good writing in, and for that I’m thankful. I just have to take it day by day and page by page. The challenge has allowed me to develop ideas for a book I’ve been cooking up for a long time now, and I’ve been able to more deeply thatch together the plot.

There are many elements to the story I want to tell, many layers. The topmost layer is a mystery story, about two people who mysteriously die. The next layer is a small-town story, about how their deaths effect the tiny community in which they lived. The deepest layer is a family story, about their two daughters who have to come to terms with what has happened, to deal with the community, and to solve the mystery.

That’s the story in a nutshell. As a native of a small town, I’ve studied that little microcosm of society and I find it fascinating. I think so often in literature and entertainment we get a sugarcoated and/or romanticized version of small town life. It’s fun, but the deeper story of these communities is missing. Small towns are hopeless and charming and frustrating and wonderful all at the same time. I want to show that in a way that’s new and entertaining and somber.

So, that’s what I’ve been working on. What do you think? I’m still musing and marinating, and I probably will be for a while. I’m writing the story patch by patch and eventually, it will be chronologically readable :). Stay tuned.

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