Something old, something new, and a sweaty bear


Well, I’m off to a roaring start on my “new” novel. In terms of word count I’m ahead of the game, which is cool, but even better is the fact that I’m really excited about how the story itself is going (although ask me next week and I might tell you that the story sucks, my writing sucks, and life in general sucks).

It’s called The Wendy House (yes, that’s a reference to Peter Pan) and it’s a prequel of sorts to Waiting for Spring. It tells the story of Brian’s parents, Wendy and Rick. The trick, of course, is that at the beginning of WFS Wendy has been dead for fourteen years, and anyone who’s read it will know that.

I wanted to explore the idea of someone being a mother vs being a person. Brian (in Waiting for Spring) has spent most of his life idealizing his mom, which is not an uncommon thing when someone loses a parent, and is even more intense than it normally would have been due to Rick’s irresponsibility; so the reader gets an idealized image of her. But I wanted to see what kind of person she really was, to see the actual person behind the idol that Brian will never know; because let’s face it, most of us never really know our parents as anyone other than Mom or Dad. I also wanted to get to know Rick better, to see where he came from, so as to understand how he got to the point he did (abandoning his kids after his wife’s death) without making excuses for him, which has also been very challenging.

Something else I’m enjoying this time around is showing a glimpse of a Maine mill town while the mills were actually running, when there was at least a modicum of prosperity, before everyone’s property was auctioned off to the highest out-of-state bidder. (Not that I’m bitter or anything.)

In my earlier post, I gave a link to a new writing blog I set up for posting information about this new project. I’ve decided to delete it, though. I’m having a hard enough time keeping this blog and my photo blog updated in between my writing, my family life, and my job-that-pays; I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up with another one. I’ll use this as my all-purpose blog. And, if you’re wondering why I haven’t had any recent convenience store customer stories it’s because I haven’t had many customers in the past week and a half. Our store is undergoing some very major construction, including the temporary removal of our gas pumps (check out some pictures here at my 365 photo blog) and as a result our business has dropped considerably. I almost posted a story of how my coworker “E” and I spent an entire overnight shift singing and dancing (very badly) to my new Coldplay CD, drinking Shirley Temples, and generally making complete asses of ourselves…but it really was a You Had To Be There experience.

Fear not! Construction is scheduled for completion in another four weeks or so, at which time we’ll have a Grand Reopening. Why should you care about that, when most of you don’t live within visiting distance? Because I’ve agreed to dress up in a teddy bear costume for the occasion. That’s right, I’m going stand by the road, completely covered in fur (in the mid-August heat), waving to drivers-by, trying to entice them into the store. I’ve been told that a fair amount of ass-shaking is expected of me as well. If I survive the ordeal, I’ll post a full report (complete with embarrassing pictures) here.

And now, speaking of Rick and his irresponsibility, Chapter 16 of Waiting for Spring (in which Brian has a chance to, um, confront his father) has been posted this morning at Readers and Writers Blog. Also new today is Chapter 28: The Garden of Eden of Ginny Good. Check ’em out.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

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